No game is perfect, but when certain issues cause the game to feel less fun, or more predictable, the need to improve is required. For the team at Firaxis, improving upon past Civilization titles was needed for Civ VI, and they set out to ensure major flaws from Civ V were addressed. Mainly, AI and how players advance in the game.
When Civilization V introduced the “more than one unit per tile” play, the AI of the game had problems compensating for that. Here though, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“There’s a lot we learned about player expectation, for how an AI should behave and which moves the AI might have failed to make early on in Civ 5 that players were anticipating.” said Lead Designer Ed Beach to IGN, “You know like, players always like that if you could capture one of their civilians, they expect to see that happen.”
Then, there’s the strategies players learned from playthoughs that made it “easier” to make it through the game. Firaxis aims to change how that happens, making players feel less comfortable and be forced to change things up:
“A good example of that is the Social Policy tree,” explains Beach. “There are certain policies that were you know, ‘avoid this one, or only use it in rare circumstances.’ We didn’t like that.”
“We wanted to make people think on their feet,” he said, describing the mantra for his team at the Maryland-based development studio as they set out to reinvent this classic game yet again. “We want them to have to adjust to the map and play the map that is presented to them, which is going to make them have to rethink their strategies.”