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Let's Check Out the New Ideology System for GalCiv IV

Article posted on 8/5/2021

Greetings, GalCiv IV fans! Over the last month, we have been hard at work turning out a new update to Galactic Civilizations IV for all of you. v0.45 released last week and focuses primarily on the ideology system. Let's take a look at what we added in the update!

Before we get into it, though, please take note that this new update WILL break your saved games - sorry about that! We do our best to maintain game saves because we know how much time goes into them, but the new ideology system changed the way that game data was used by the code that made prior saves un-saveable.

When looking at ideology and developing a new system, we really wanted to capture a wider range of possibilities than we have in previous games. Now, ideology is measured on 7 different spectrums that are influenced by the choices you make throughout the course of a game. Where you are on each spectrum determines which traits you can select whenever you acquire a culture point (which you can get through completing events and making certain choices). 


The cool thing about ideologies in Galactic Civilizations IV is that you’re not the only one who has one! I’m not just talking about your opponents, either - leaders and citizens within your civilization may have ideologies as well. If your ideologies match theirs, great things can happen - if yours opposes theirs, however, you may have to worry about conflicts or potential defects.

You can’t be on both sides of the same spectrum of ideology. As an example, you can’t be on both Opportunity and Equality on one spectrum, but this doesn’t impact your place in a different spectrum. This allows you to explore a broad range of ideologies and try new specializations in each different game you play, allowing for a unique experience each time.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the ideology spectrums and the traits contained within them.

Liberty vs. Authority

If you choose liberty, you will be able to promote free trade, free markets, enterprise, and more along these lines. Within these sorts of traits, you’ll be able to utilize bonuses like increased starbase range, better income, and delay colony and asteroid decay. 

On the flip side, Authority will see you favoring traits like prestige and discipline, granting bonuses along the lines of rushing multiple times per turn, escort fighters for transports, and double ship experience from battles.

Opportunity vs. Equality

A strong leader believes in seizing opportunities as they arise. Traits within this spectrum include things like ambition, recruiting, and incentives - everything you’ll need to attract all of the right people to your cause and rake in bonuses like reduced cost and cooldowns, increased loyalty, and more.

On the other hand, equality can be a draw for people and drive them to feel closer to you and your goals. Your citizens will appreciate representation from their leader and have feelings of a shared purpose and hope for the future. This sort of loyalty can net you bonuses like increased growth and approval rates, improved moral and resolve, and more.

Tradition vs. Innovation

Some of the best things are rooted in tradition. A sacred history and a devotion to a long-upheld code of law are things that you can use to spread your influence with enthusiasm. Systems like this will draw the attention and loyalty of clerics, resulting in increased approval from those citizens, immunity to culture flipping because of your fervent beliefs, and influence generated from all starbases. 

Time marches on for everyone, and so should progress. As an Innovative leader, you will emphasize education and logic and have a deep reverence for science and new discoveries. You don’t want your civilization’s growth to be overly stifled by tradition, so your focus on constantly learning new things will net you bonuses like improved research, increased intellect for your citizens, and scientists who are eager to work for you because of all the impressive work you’ve been doing in the field of science.

Compassion vs. Cruelty

As a compassionate leader, it is important to you that your citizens feel safe, cared for, and heard. Putting emphasis on things that benefit your citizenry and your allies only draws people closer to you, increasing their loyalty and their willingness to lay down their lives for you if you’re ever under threat. Benefits within this spectrum include things like a reduction in crime on your worlds, lower pollution, and improved diplomacy benefits. 

Sometimes, ruling with an iron fist is necessary for accomplishing your goals. Some might call this cruelty - but you? You call it efficiency. Your citizens are a means to an end, and the most important thing is to keep them in line first and foremost - the whole “fed, clothed, and safe” thing is for sissies. Your citizens are afraid of you - but, so are your enemies, which is exactly what you want. This style of leading will grant you manufacturing bonuses, free soldiers, and additional bonuses for ships defending your borders and armies marching to an invasion.

Transparency vs. Secrecy

You believe that your people and your allies deserve to know exactly what your plans are - and by doing so, you hope to achieve the same level of transparency for them in return. Your diplomatic endeavors are made easier because of this, with bonuses provided to diplomacy and increased credits when making a trade with another civilization. Your reliability puts other civilizations at ease, which often skews trades in your favor.

Discretion is often the better part of valor - and while this certainly applies in war-like situations, it also applies to daily governance as well. You do your best work in the shadows, and believe that showing your entire hand to your enemies - and even your allies - is brash foolishness. Your caution is rewarded with bonuses in deception and deals struck with the pirates that haunt everyone’s borders. Enemy ships that dare to invade you are at a distinct disadvantage within your borders, and all of your mysteriousness causes other civilizations to hesitate before declaring war with you.

Diversity vs. Harmony

The galaxy is a diverse place, and everyone who inhabits it is constantly changing and adapting to new situations and environments, and keeping up with it all is important to you. This flexibility has served you well with bonuses to income, research, and manufacturing, as well as increased options for tile choices when developing a new planet. Your civilization is a welcoming one, and as a result there is no approval penalty for mixed species and you’re also granted a hefty bonus to tourism.

Living in harmony is important to you, but you have a slightly different way of going about that. Unity and shared belief are at the foundation of how you govern, which grants major bonuses to approval and resistance. Because of your ideals, enemies will think twice about declaring war, lest they anger other civilizations and send them flocking to your aid. 

Focus vs. Calm

You have a focused, driven vision for your civilization and nothing is going to get in the way of that. Your efficiency and persistence will reduce rush costs and influence the diligence of your citizenry, while also making room for better logistics and improved production and resource management. 

Your calm demeanor drives your decision making and works well with your belief that patience is key. The neighboring civilizations appreciate your laid-back nature and, even though you share borders, tend to leave you alone and not cause you any problems. Benefits to persuasion and approval will serve you well, and your preparedness means that your people are able to repair your ships faster after they’ve been in a fight.

As I mentioned above, one spectrum doesn’t affect your place in another, but you can’t play two sides of the same spectrum - you’ll have to commit! For example, you can’t be cruel and compassionate, but you can be compassionate and focused.

There were some other things that went into this update - including colony upgrades, new missions, and placeable capitals - as well as fixes, balance updates, and UI improvements. You can see the full changelog here.

Have you been enjoying exploring Galactic Civilizations IV? We love to hear from you - share some of your favorite moments with us!