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The “Fall 2017” update for Civilization VI has finally made it to Linux

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The folks at Aspyr Media have brought over the last big patch for the addictive strategy game. There’s plenty of changes in this one and new civilizations in the form of DLC.

I’ll mention it right at the top: there’s still no cross-platform multiplayer as of this update.

Putting that aside, this latest update makes a few important changes to Civilization VI [Official Site]. Perhaps most notably, religion has seen a reformation of sorts with new units, pantheons, rules and balancing passes that have changed up how that aspect of the game develops. I noticed from a quick game that it’s now much easier to tell apart the different religions of missionaries and see how trade affects the spreading of faith. Likewise, in a similar vein, a lot of the game’s UI has seen a lot of changes for the better. The diplomacy screen has been overhauled and there’s all sorts of small touches that make it simpler to understand the information the game is throwing at you.

The Khmer and Indonesia are also now in the game as part of a DLC pack. It also adds both a new wonder, Ankor Wat, as well as a natural wonder, Ha Long Bay. Like with the other DLC thus far, there’s also a new scenario included with special rules but, as of the time of writing this article, it’s not selectable on the in-game list. I contacted Aspyr about that omission and I’ve been told that they’ll look into it. Hopefully it’s just something that was overlooked and easily fixed (Update: it has been fixed).

You can see all the changes in the patch and DLC in these release notes.

At the risk of editorializing a little, I have to also mention just how long it took to get this update on Linux. The original Windows release was way back in October of last year, meaning that it’s taken just under three months for Aspyr to deliver the update. Even accounting for end of year holidays, it’s my opinion that they dropped the ball on this one. I know that software development is complicated and that sometimes things don’t go the way you plan for, but I honestly hope that Aspyr take care not to make it a habit.

It’s difficult to recommend Civ 6 to friends and other people when there’s long periods of time where Linux and OSX users are behind the much needed balance and new content patches. The previous "Summer 2017 update" also had a delay of about a month and a half. With so many games competing for your attention these days, why should you buy a game when it’s not clear when your platform will be getting the support you’re supposedly paying for? Add to that the fact that cross-platform multiplayer with the biggest chunk of the market, Windows gamers, still isn’t ready after nearly a year since the Linux release and it’s an even harder case to make.

I hope that going forward, Aspyr are a little faster on the uptake and that they improve the port’s performance while they’re at it. At the very least, I’d like a little clearer and regular communication other than vague statements like that they’re “making sure it lives up to our standards” every once in a blue moon. Linux gamers are used to being patient and can often be very understanding, so long as you’re clear on what’s happening and why. We’ll see what happens ahead of the release of the upcoming Rise and Fall expansion next month. I hope it won’t be as long a wait.

You can grab Civilization VI on Steam.

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About the author -
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History, sci-fi, technology, cooking, writing and playing games are things I enjoy very much. I'm always keen to try different genres of games and discover all the gems out there.

Oh and the name doesn't mean anything but coincidentally could be pronounced as "Buttery" which suits me just fine.
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draxil 12 Jan, 2018
I really wish they'd fix that multiplayer! Of course if they did we'd not be able to play for several months after each update due to the game going out of sync with the windoze version. I'm glad I can persuade my group to all play on Mac/Linux port, but even then it's a massive pain.
gojul 12 Jan, 2018
Sad to see Aspyr so long to deliver updates. Looks like they gave up Linux. On the other hand Feral rocks, but having another porter would be great.

Last edited by gojul on 12 January 2018 at 10:24 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 12 Jan, 2018
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Seriously, how messed up can your production pipeline be if an extension takes considerable work per platform?

Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 12 January 2018 at 10:26 am UTC
SadL 12 Jan, 2018
By the way.. are they planing to fix the "download data for all languages cause there is no language option on steam" issue? The game right now with all the DLCs takes over 28 GB of space. Are we expecting to go over 40 GB with the expansion? Linux requirements still mention 15 GB for the core game.. Come on at least this problem should be easy to fix. Does anyone care?

Edit: also.. regarding game's discussions on steam..they gave up on updating the "the official linux thread"'s first post..but.. if you go to the thread concerning macs you will see updates there..and in their last update (always referring to the first post by Aspyr-Blair) you will see the following phrase "Mac and Mac can still play with each other, and Linux users will join very soon." right now.. we can't even do that?

Edit2: I guess I am overreacting again..

Last edited by SadL on 12 January 2018 at 10:41 am UTC
wintermute 12 Jan, 2018
I think it's important to remember that Aspyr initially weren't going to release Civ VI for Linux, perhaps because they knew the updates would be a low priority for them. Next time time a publisher tells us they don't want to release a Linux version because they won't be able to give it full support we can use this example to help decide what it is we really want.

It's also likely that most of their resources in recent months have gone towards the mobile port of Civ VI. Could be a big money maker for them.

Also worth noting I have played three times as much Civ V over the last month as Civ VI because I can play that one together with my friends.
stretch611 12 Jan, 2018
As a developer, I will not criticize a 3 month delay on a patch the size of this... especially with the notation I mentioned when the delay was last brought up here... You are modifying code that someone else made for a different platform... sh!t happens.

As for Civ VI, I hope the improvements are significant...

My budget is limited for games, and with a preference towards indie games that support linux (which can cost 1/3 the price), full price for Civ VI was not in the cards for me. During the various sales after release, it did go down to 50% off and I was extremely tempted to buy it at that price; however, the reviews were mixed at best... and the actual negative reviews were informative... they were not "this game sucks" but actually reviews of people that sounded like they enjoyed the series, and wanted it to work, but for some reason didn't. That stopped me from buying it.

I finally bit the bullet and bought it last week. It is currently the feature title of the Humble Monthly. For $12 you get it and 2 DLC civilization packs (Australia and Vikings), as well as whatever other games Humble adds to it at the end of the month.

I have played it. I find it to be a decent game and well worth the $12. However, in comparison to the release of previous iterations of Civilization, it falls flat. (I have played all prior version I-V, when they were still new.) Previous versions, I would play non-stop for 3 or 4 weeks... the "just one more turn..." problem constantly burning in my veins keeping me up all night. Civ VI.. nope... its decent, but for some reason not the same inspiration that I received from earlier versions..

I noticed that the update has been downloaded through steam; I have yet to try it. I hope this improves the game, it should, but after reading the patch notes, probably not enough to change my opinion of "meh."
jens 12 Jan, 2018
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Quoting: TheSHEEEPSeriously, how messed up can your production pipeline be if an extension takes considerable work per platform?

I'm pretty sure this is not a matter of technical difficulties but of priorities. My impression is that the Linux port was more of a favor for the Linux community than anything else, remember that it wasn't planned at all. They wont earn much money with the Linux version, surely considering reaction here. Chances are much better on iOS. I love Linux with all my heart but I can fully understand that Aspire shift their priorities to a platform with a slightly less demanding community and much more volume.

That said, I bought CIV VI when it came out for Linux and are thankful and very happy that the extension has finally landed.

Last edited by jens on 12 January 2018 at 5:21 pm UTC
slaapliedje 12 Jan, 2018
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I honestly think the big problem with all of the civilization games since.. 4? is that they aren't selling a complete game anymore. You basically have to wait for the DLCs to fill in the blanks, like spying and religion, etc. Still I tend to buy them, then wait until later, not sure why. But Aspyr should keep porting them over. Would be better if Firaxis did the ports themselves though.
SadL 12 Jan, 2018
Well Civilization series is one of my truth is, even with these delays and far worse ones I would have bought the game and every single dlc either way (I know some of you are screaming right now), trying to support the porter as its probably going to be the same porter when Civ VII comes. Maybe my fingers still remember the sequence of moves a trireme had to make in order to reach america safely in Civ I. But this game is one of the few exceptions in my case. So the reality is I was thrilled when aspyr said a linux port is possible and on its way.

But.. what if it was another game? A game I had no previous contact with. For me, Aspyr right now needs to communicate a bit better with their customers.

PS: And firaxis has to do something with that AI at last! I can still hear Sid Meier saying that most importantly gamers want to win no matter what (it was in a presentation with things they learned after Civ IV if I recall correctly). I respectfully disagree, ...#notAll ? some want challenge and competent AI..

PS2: from rant to rant.. I know I am a terrible person.. thanks for your time..

Edit: typo..

Last edited by SadL on 12 January 2018 at 5:30 pm UTC 12 Jan, 2018
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