Perhaps one of the most terrifying ideas to come out of science fiction is the concept of an artificial lifeform bereft of compassion, basic human morality or sentimental feeling, driven to replicate itself to the ends of the galaxy, and crush or assimilate anything standing in its way.
The Yor Singularity are certainly one of the most unique threats amongst the many cosmic horrors lurking in Galactic Civilizations series, and while they’ve always had their own playstyle to match their theme, recent updates to more broadly diversify some of the older, more established Core Civilizations have been kind to our mechanical friends. Now blessed with new tools to help their early game expansion and with the introduction of more thematic Techs, Improvements and Executive Orders, the Yor are more fun to play than ever.
In this Dev Journal, we’re going to take a quick look at the changes made to the Yor, and how this affects their playstyle and feel in a game of Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova.
Let’s jump into the Yor Singularity’s Mission, “The Soul of the Machine”, a map designed to allow the player to explore their unique playstyle against four quite different civilizations: the greedy Corporate Sector, the diverse and devout Krynn Syndicate, the stubborn and dangerous Terran Resistance and the Yor’s cursed progenitors, the Iconian Refuge.
One of the nice things about the Missions in Supernova is that you can test different strategies and playstyles against the same opponents, on the same map, allowing you to fine tune your perfect approach to dominating the galaxy as that Civilization.
Immediately we see that the Yor have some new Improvements to pick from to build on Iconia, resplendent with its new Barren planet biomes added in v2.2. Firstly, we have the Durantium Scanner, a sensor that not only rolls back the fog of war around the world it is built upon, but also detects Durantium deposits both on the planet and in the system around it. This helps the Yor find the Durantium they need to manufacture new Yor Citizens (remember, they do not reproduce naturally like the other Citizen types). This unique Improvement is set up to increase its sensor-range when Manufacturing Districts and Improvements are placed adjacent to it too.
Note that these randomly placed Durantium deposits give a +2 bonus to adjacent Manufacturing and Military buildings, and this can be a powerful way to kickstart your industry.
The Yor also get access to the Precursor Scanner, another communications device that can further increase the Sensor range on Iconia (or you can place it on a different world if you wish), while revealing Precursor Relics on-planet and in neighbouring systems.
Along with starting with two asteroid mining vessels for a quick Mineral Input boost, these two Improvements optionally help set the Yor up for a taller playstyle in the early game, getting a head start on exploration over their rivals, unveiling useful resources and helping them keep tabs on their rivals. Remember that these Improvements are quite expensive to maintain in the early game, so these benefits do come at a small cost.
Note that these two new Sensor Improvements help to compensate for the loss of the Telescope Takeover Executive Order, which has been replaced with something more suited to the Yor Singularities synthetic and mechanical approach to galactic domination. You can see in the screenshot above that on turn 1, they can see way further out into space around them than their rivals can.
Here we can see many of the Techs have been updated to be more thematically suited to the Yor Singularity, and in many cases are not just cosmetic changes, instead giving the Yor access to a whole new unique and evolving playstyle separate from the other civilizations in the game, including upgrades to the Stats of all Yor Citizens. This is a nice change that allows players to really focus on the task of constructing Yor Citizens, knowing that each one is drastically more efficient in producing the resources necessary for galactic conquest.
Civilization Policies have had the same treatment: here’s a couple from the early game, I won’t spoil the rest but there are many, many Policies unique to the Yor (and other Synthetic custom civilizations sharing the Yor’s Civilization Abilities).
And here are some new and powerful Executive Orders for you to spend your Control Points on too. Again, there are many of these and I’ll save the rest for you to find. Manufacture Population is useful when Durantium is scarce on the map, and the Yor can always use new Soldiers later in the game!
The DLC “Tales of Centauron” will add this Event very close to the start of the game, giving the Yor a choice between three very useful Improvements to be added onto Iconia. If you don’t like the location this is created at, simply “destroy” it and then rebuild it elsewhere, although you’ll have to pay for the privilege. This is a mechanic that shakes up the way players will approach District and Improvement layout by providing some powerful bonuses that can also force a rethink of their usual optimal layout patterns. Choose wisely!
There’s more to discover, but this should give you a taste of the changes that we’re starting to integrate into the Core Civilizations. There’s more to do: Stardock love Galactic Civilizations and we’re going to continue improving it until it’s the very best game it can be.
As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!