Civilization: Beyond Earth Live Gameplay Demo Takes A Look At Mid-Game Technology And Strategy

By Connor Sears , Updated Sep 18, 2014 04:16 PM EDT

You've built up your first city, you've founded a couple more and you've given your civilization everything it needs to become an international powerhouse. Once those first 100 turns pass and the mid-game starts, that's when your civ really starts to specialize as you decide what kind of nation you want your civ to be – a feared warmonger, a pacifist culture farmer or anything in between.

The Last Live Gameplay Demo Introduced Us To The Game's Espionage System

The mid-game is often a critical part of any Civ game, and the latest live gameplay demo from Firaxis gave us a glimpse at the kind of technologies we'll have access to after that initial phase of setting up in Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth.

The first major change to Beyond Earth's technology system is its layout. The Technology Web (different from the Technology Trees of other Civ games) encourages even more specialization during the mid-game. It leads to a lot less needing to research unrelated technologies just to be able to reach the technology you do want, like a war-minded player who doesn't necessarily want to research the economic tech Guilds just to research the knights of Chivalry.

Still Confused About These Affinity Things In Beyond Earth? We've Got You Covered

The new radial layout of the Tech Web allows players to focus on one specific line of techs, even being able to reach the edge of the web in the span of a few technologies. Of course, these edge techs are very costly, and that research might be better used to gain a more attainable tech in the short run. But the capability to reach these powerful techs very early is still there.

The live stream introduced viewers to a couple of the technologies that are necessary for certain victory conditions. Players aiming for a Contact Victory will need to head toward Transcendental Math eventually. The Communications tech stem is used to build the portals needed for either the Purity or Supremacy victory conditions. Alien Adaptation is also useful for players pursuing Harmony, as it unlocks the Xeno Swarm, a cheap Harmony unit that the narrator likened to a Zerg rush.

Viewers also got to see a useful trading post for science-minded Civ players. Adapt Blue is an alien trade outpost that grants you a random, free technology when a trade mission with them is completed. Essentially, this could mean a player could earn a free technology every 30 turns if he is constantly trading with this outpost, certainly a handy benefit for your neighbor to have.

Also interesting to note was the "stem and leaf" organization of the Tech Web in action. This system means that each main technology includes a couple of leaf techs under it, which can be selectively researched in any order or ignored completely. A couple of the main-line technologies would often have different leaf techs attached that represented different Affinities. For example, Purity and Supremacy players will both want to research Terraforming, but they'd each want to pursue a different leaf tech below, as one gives Purity Affinity points and another gives points toward Supremacy.

The video was fairly thorough about seeing what each technology was all about, and it even delved into the buildings, improvement and wonders that each tech unlocks. If you want to see more of the Tech Web, the video might be worth a watch.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is set to hit PCs on October 24.

Watch live video from FiraxisGames on Twitch

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