This new version have been tested and played with at the very least on weekly basis since January 2017, with rountinely more than 10 players having all won Club championship titles and all logged in individually I'd expect 5,000H+ of online play, so we're getting, we hope, to a very fine balance
Ultimately, the MOD can be perceived in 2 parts :
- One part where through the offer of many many options, the game can be tailored or adapted better to competitive play. The gameplay is not altered by any mean.
- Another part where the MOD offer components that push the game further, offering somehow enhanced gameplay and new content.
It's important to note that every component is isolated in a dedicated game option (or multiplayer option) and can be run in any combination.
The Civelopedia is 100% updated and fully adapts to all options you would select, so what you consult in game always applies to what you're currently playing
Last version - 2.22 - Game files :
The MOD is actually and standalone game which offers the possibility to be easily installed (just unzip the archive) and does show live games on the multiplayer lobby as well.
The .exe incorporates all data to redirect to the now unofficial lobby (supported on Zulan's server) implemented after GameSpy's decommission
This is the part that provides you with a very long list of options for you to enable, or not, for your games.
General Options which turn on or off features in the original game
General Options which use existing features and re-engineer them in a different way
Complete variante on a fundamental item of the game
Or more out-of-the-box scenarios funny to play or helping the balance in some cases
There are also options for you to activate in multiplayer only.
There are also added feature, without touching to gameplay balance, that are essential :
The possibility to change the turn time WHILE playing a game, better adapted timers,
The possibiliy to referee the game (someone can be an observer and watch others play),
A "random era select" (if you launch a game in say Renaissance era start, you can only get a select scope of cilizations, typically the ones with Renaissance UU's)
More games speeds (quicker), more (closer) difficultly levels on lower levels (some levels have too much a gap to justify being used between human players of close skills, the new levels just fill the gapes),...
The ultimate goals of Beyond the play is as follow :
- Be able to launch a "long", "epic" game from scratch and have a balance between all civilizations, and all traits combos (in the original Beyond the Sword , the difference in use of some trait is too big in too many contexts)
- Be able to launch a teamer in any "start" era given (a lot of MP game don't start in ancient era) and have an interesting pool of trait combos, and civilization, that is balanced (this is achieved by activating the "Random era specific" option).
This "expansion" part is implement via the last 13 game options you can activate independently :
To this you have to add the "component" which are building blocks to develop the amount of features in the game :
There is also added content within the framework of normal BTS , but never is the intention to fundamentally disturb gameplay,
As you'll see below and in the game, added content will aim to give POSSIBILITIES to the player, but is never a predominant feature, the fundamental idea is to play DIFFERENTLY, with more CREATIVE play; but stay true to the Beyond the Sword experience we have loved for nearly 15 years.
Usage as shown that new players get very quickly used to the MOD as fundamental game play isn't altered.
Dedicated Civelopedia tabs
New Basic Units
New Basic Buildings
New UU for some Civs, revamped balance for other (very few) UU's
New UB for some Civs
New Unique Civics for some Civilizations
Accessible either via Trait (Red promotion), By event (Yellow), via specific Unique Civics (Purple) or Unique Buildings (Green)
New Civilizations - Which have the new leaders and their own UU/UB with creative way/new ways of playing
New Trait & Leaders
Agricultural (first column) and its leaders (new Civilizations' leaders)
Conqueror (second column), extra leaders on existing Civilizations
Other unique combos (third column), leaders or Poland and Sid Meier (normally not playable, is the spectator leader, as Build/Sci)
If you select one of the options that "bans" a trait, you will get either i/ a random trait within the 11 traits of BTS, ii/ A "forced" replacement trait, which are 'Builder' and then 'Scientific' (usage of those is obviously much rarer)
UU Madness Scenario
UU Madness mode let's you build all of the games' Unique Units if you have the (additional) required resource
The unit simply transforms when it comes out of the city into the relevant UU
City production tabs update to tells you what your unit could become if you have the right resource
Resource menu updates to show you what you could produce with it
General Multiplayer scenarios
Scenarios activated by using 2 first extra digits in the city elim Multiplayer Option (you will have to use 3 digits, the 3rd one is to determine the actual City-Elimination limit).
If you want to play with 1 extra explore unit at the begining unit of the game, and no city elim : put 100
If you want to play with 1 extra worker unit at the begining unit of the game, and 3 city elim : put 113
Component - Faith
A Sidebar on top left gets filled with point when you have an active state religion (1pnt/turn by religious building you have, 3 for the religion's shrine), once the bar gets filled, you get a bonus event. (Then the bar resets for increased size, like the GP bar)
Event give a bonus you can choose on all your religion's Cathedrals
Component - Royalty
A King unit appears near your Civilization starting plot when you finish a revolution cycle and you install an hereditary ruler. He is weak and fearful, take care of him or you will enter a dark age.
Component - Dark age
Those terrible times can happen if you don't take care of your King or let the Plague spread into the world,
Your cities health will be greatly reduced, your cities won't be growing anymore, and you won't be able to make scientific researches.
Host menu (CTRL-SHIFT-H)
Possibility to change the Timer in-game
Also when Killer option on, you can decide how much cities are worth (default 10,000)
Concede game menu (CTRL-F6)
To concede a game and reveal the map to all players (everyone can see everything)
You're allowed to relaunch a game after that
Rehost game menu (CTRL-F7)
Can rehost the game with either same picks, or shuffling random leaders and civilization
DAWN menu (CTRL-F9)
Remade to show Unique Civics, Unique Resources, all as icons
Pedia page of civilization updated to do the same thing
Extra "tiers" and era dedicated civ menu (CTRL-F10)
Shows you wish civilizations relates to the option that bans Tier1, Tier2, Tier3 civilizations,
Also shows you which Civilization you can get in a give era if you use "Random Era Select",
Here view is filtered on Industrial Civilizations
Civ Overview Menu (CTRL-F11)
Shows you an exhaustive overview of all civilizations and what they can do (adapted to your current game configuration/options).
Here a view once filtered for "Era" civilization of Medieval age
There many categories covered