As promised, here is the chat in easy to read Q&A format. Note that the After-Party portion is not included here. For those, you can check the file Strider posted yesterday. Enjoy! To all the Firaxians, can you briefly describe your role with BTS? <alexman> Lead Designer and Lead Programmer <FXS_jsmith> <--- Producer <FXS_JonShafer> co-lead designer <fxs_Barry> I'm Barry Caudill and I am the Executive producer here...I was the Senior producer on Civ IV Will there be a serbia civ? <FXS_jsmith> No, Serbia will not be a civ in this expansion, though we do recommend you create them <FXS_jsmith> using the new modular xml loading you can have people just drop the civ into their game What's the status of BTS now? Has it gone gold yet? <FXS_jsmith> we are nearing completion, it should go gold very soon <FXS_JonShafer> putting the finishing touches on it now <FXS_jsmith> we are still pretty busy, so no its not done yet =) <fxs_Barry> We're in the "blurry" stage of production right now. <alexman> I'm still making changes and checking them in in the other window, so not gold yet Will the UN include the same voting options as the AP, i.e. trade embargoes etc. if not will the UN be Changed at all? <alexman> Yes, the UN will have some of the new resolutions from the apostolic palace You have mentioned levees as a new buildings. Does this mean some buildings prevent or decrease the effects of certian events? <alexman> The levee makes your river cities more productive Will we able to defy UN resolutions at the risk of diplomatic penalties or sanctions? <alexman> Yes, you can defy resolutions Will Seafaring and Agricultural return as traits? <alexman> No new traits in BTS, but almost all the trait combinations are filled now Will warlords content be in for vanilla civ players? <FXS_jsmith> yes, all of the warlords epic game items will be included <Solver> Warlords feature will be in except the scenarios Have you improved forts? <alexman> Yes, forts are GREATLY improved. Forts act like cities in many ways. <alexman> So you can base aircraft in them, you can enter them with ships, and you can paradrop from them <alexman> You can even use them to connect resources. Is there going to be a southeast Asian civ included in BTS? <FXS_jsmith> Yes, there will be a southeast asian civ What about the future of Civ4 on Macs? <FXS_jsmith> there will eventually be a mac version of BTS <FXS_jsmith> its not contracted yet, but it usually follows pretty close to the release How will cities be founded in advanced starts? <FXS_JonShafer> you place them on the map <FXS_JonShafer> it's kind of like the World Builder with costs associated <FXS_JonShafer> for all the different things you can add <alexman> You get a bunch of points to spend on what you want: cities units improvements, buildings <FXS_jsmith> it allows you to try different tactics, each time you play Is there going to be any concept similar to the Civ2 one where capturing the capital of a civ could result in a civil war and the splitting of the civ, creating a new one? <alexman> There will be civilizations splits, but they will be voluntary About how many "Random Events" can we expect to see in an average game? <alexman> Events depend on what's happining in the game, so it's hard to say how many you will get on average. Are you afraid of overloading the game by adding so many late-game units? <alexman> We added more turns to the game to go with the more units Can you clue us in on some of the new civilizations and leaderheads we don't know about yet? <FXS_JonShafer> you'll learn about the rest of the new civs and leaders soon. What tribe do the Native Americans represent? <alexman> Native Americans represent all north american native american tribes The privateer is listed as a new unit. Will it work the same as it did in Civ3 where no player can tell what civ it belongs to? If so, is the AI smart enough to figure out who is waging anonymous war with them? <alexman> Yes, it's more or less like the Civ3 unit, and the Ai knows what to do with it. It also has extra abilities. It can blockade ports and plunder trade routes <fxs_Barry> Blake has been working on the AI for us and he's been doing a wonderful job so I think you can expect to see the AI working well all through the game. <Thunderfall> Barry: I consider the AI in Civ4 already very good. I hope the improved AI doesn't mean I can't even win on Noble level anymore. <fxs_Barry> TF, it started to come out a little hard but I think we have it rebalanced pretty well now. It just feels more...human <alexman> The AI is much better, thanks to Blake, so we had to reduce its bonuses <Gogf> The new AI plays a lot more like a human being <Gogf> Which is exactly how the AI should play <Solver> You'll definitely be in for a few surprises with what the BtS AI can do <FXS_jsmith> Im sure we'll get complaints about it being too hard heh <FXS_jsmith> even though they dont get as many bonuses <Dale> can anyone say "AI crush"? <Speaker> although we didn't tell Blake all the MP tricks, so don't worry too much <FXS_jsmith> Have we announced Charlemagne's Civ, the Holy Roman Empire? <Dale> you have now jesse. Is the HRE civ a regular civ, or just playable in the Charlemagne's Wars scenario? <alexman> Regular How are corporations founded? Can you give us more detail? <alexman> You found them with a Great Person after you have discovered the needed technology Will the map scripts be made more interesting than the current box-shaped continents? <alexman> We are adding a number of new map scripts. Sirian designed most of them <Gogf> Yup, the new map scripts are excellent Has any attention gone towards fixing problems with Pitboss? For example, currently 90% of diplomatic messages show up blank on the recipient's side, making in-game diplomatic messages completely useless. There are also major issues that can cause you to give away technology for free. <alexman> I am not aware of those pitboss problems, sorry. What is the great spy capable of doing? <alexman> The Great Spy can infiltrate rival cities, giving you a huge espionage bonus, or you have have him join one of your own cities as a specialist <alexman> He can also build the Scotland Yard and start a GA <FXS_JonShafer> Scotland Yard is no longer a world wonder any more also, it functions like the Academy for a Great Scientist, for example. so everyone can build 'em <Solver> Actually it was a National Wonder not a World Wonder pre-BtS Jon Can you give more info about the new civil war feature? <Solver> As Alex already said, civilization splits in BtS are voluntary <FXS_JonShafer> while you can split a civ off as a colony, there are no civil wars in BTS Are there any plans for a power politics driven Civ4, with reintroducing coup d'etats, civil wars, proxy guerrila armies, mercenaries and internal party politics? <alexman> Provo, maybe in Civ5... Hopefully we learn more about all those cool scenarios soon... <FXS_jsmith> Just to plug the teams hard work though <FXS_jsmith> the Fall from Heaven team has done an amazing job creating a fantasy mod called Age of Ice, it is insane what they have done <fxs_Barry> I know Jon is slated to talk about them on the next tour and then all bets will be off... <FXS_jsmith> Dale's crew has created the deepest and most strategic WWII game I've ever seen in a civ game, it includes 3 scenarios covering various periods <FXS_jsmith> and Rhye has updated Rhye's and Fall to Beyond the Sword and has included a bunch of content How many new techs will be added and will they all be for the modern/ future era techs? <FXS_jsmith> all of the people on frankenstein who have assisted us have really gone above and beyond <FXS_jsmith> this is the first time we have included full mods using the civ4 tools so it has been an interesting time Will there anymore music tracks for BtS? Will BtS sill include all the Civ 3 music Warlords had? <alexman> BTS has new music <fxs_Barry> Michael Curran composed a really cool title piece that I think fits in very well. Are all the new techs modern? <alexman> There is one classical tech, one renaissance, and the rest are modern Okay, alittle bit more onto you guys. What are YOUR favorite additions to BTS? <FXS_jsmith> I don't really have a favorite <FXS_JonShafer> there's really a lot added in this expansion <FXS_jsmith> there is just so many new things you can't prioritize one <FXS_JonShafer> if I had to pick though I'd say I like my mod a lot <fxs_Barry> favorite...the new spaceship system that is more like the old spaceship system <alexman> My favorite element part of BTS is the AI <FXS_JonShafer> FInal Frontier, that is <Solver> My favorite is the vastly improved AI for sure What will the civs be for crossroads of the world scenario? <alexman> Crossroads covers the arabia/africa region <FXS_JonShafer> the Crossroads scenario takes place in the medieval era so you'll see civs that would be appropriate in the Middle East <FXS_JonShafer> you'll hear more about it soon though Will Christopher Tin return to compose music for BTS? <fxs_Barry> We are still working with Chris but all of the music for BtS was done in house. About the Apostolic Palace... does it really enable players to win diplomatic victory very early, like in the middle age? <alexman> Theoretically it is possible, but nobody has managed to do that... yet Better AI is always good. That seems to be what people complain the most about. I've heard you mention the "improved AI" already. Can you tell us how exactly it has been improved? <alexman> The AI is much better militarily, and also manages its empire even better. Feels more like playing a human. <alexman> Blake is a genious <FXS_JonShafer> the AI does almost everything better <FXS_JonShafer> so it's hard to point to any one aspect of it that was improved <Solver> The AI improvements also affect your civ - that is, units/cities you automate. So you can really automate now if you don't want to micromanage. <FXS_JonShafer> that's what you get when you have someone dedicated to it for so long <FXS_JonShafer> you get good stuff across the board Currently, the main benefit of Emancipation is that it is a late civic that will hinder all other civs until they get it. With advance starts, Emancipation will be available almost immediately. Therefore, not only will it not give any benefits, it also won't even hinder anyone. This makes it non-functional. So are any changes coming to Emancipation? <alexman> Emancipation also provides faster cottage growth <Gogf> emancipation stops other civs from other civics <Gogf> It's been like that in late-era-start multiplayer for a while What new game types will there be? Regicide, perhaps? <FXS_JonShafer> hmmm, new game modes <FXS_JonShafer> well, you could technically call Advanced Starts a new "game mode" <Solver> I guess advanced start could count as a new game mode. <FXS_JonShafer> there's also new options where you can prevent civs from trading techs they didn't research themselves <FXS_JonShafer> new option, I mean <GarretSidzaka> does the advanced start use a similar meathod as the barbarians mod did? <alexman> No, it doesn't make you wait <FXS_JonShafer> Advanced Start lets you place things down immediately <FXS_JonShafer> the AI does the same... doesn't take long to do Are there any new promotions? <FXS_jsmith> there are new air unit promotions <alexman> New promotions for air units: range, interception, ace <alexman> Also, Woodsman III <Solver> And Guerilla III at that Can you give us a little more detail on the random events? Possibly give us a few examples? <alexman> Random events can range from natural disasters, to discoveries that give you a bonus, to quests you have to complete over a period of time to receive a bonus Will the random events be accessable through xml modding? <Solver> The random events can be modded of course, yes Has anything been changed in relation to trade routes? <alexman> International trade routes can be blocked with ships How espionage points are gained, as in are they just from the slider? <FXS_JonShafer> espionage points are gained from the slider but also through the Spy specialist <FXS_JonShafer> and things like events <alexman> Buildings also provide you with espionage points <Solver> And the aforementioned Great Spy's ability <FXS_JonShafer> so for people who like using the specialist economy you can still use Espionage Are there are really severe events, such as one that wipes out a whole city? <alexman> No, we tried to put one in, but our testers were ready to kill us so we removed it <fxs_Barry> It is inherently unfun to have a random event ruin something you have worked to build. Any chance BTS will utilize multiple CPU cores to increase endgame performance? <fxs_Barry> We actually do perform better on multi-core machines...but it's not because we developed it that way. ;-) Can the text and effect of random events be modded without python or SDK changes? Can it be changed though the XML?? <Solver> Events are moddable through XML. Are the ocean trade routes still visible? <alexman> No, they are not visible, but blocked tiles (where your trade cannot go) are visible How do colonies become independent and does a once conquered civilization has a chance to revolt? <alexman> Overseas colonies cost gold to maintain, so you might improve your economy by giving them their independence How early can you see enemy cities with espionage? If its early it can seriously hurt the MP game. If so is there a way to turn it off in game options? <alexman> I don't agree that espionage hurts the MP game. It just makes it different Speaking of ships... anything done that has improved navies and made them more vital to your military? <Solver> Blockades and Privateers do make your navy more important. Privateers can attack you at any time, so you either need to get a navy or live with them. <Dale> also, blake's AI helps their navies a lot too. <alexman> There are new ships also Will there be more than 18 civs on map? <alexman> More than 18 only if you mod the DLL Is there really is a civ called Holy Roman Empire in the Charlemagne scenario? <alexman> There is a new civ called that in the epic game too Whats the difference between citys and colonies? <FXS_JonShafer> a "Colony" is just a civ you split off as a vassal Are there any improvements to modding other than the modular xml, like maybe new tools? <alexman> No new tools for modding, but we have exposed a good amount of new functionality to python and XML <Thunderfall> No new editor like the one in Civ3? I know lots of fans would like to see one. <FXS_JonShafer> editors are very hard to make <FXS_jsmith> We chose power over accessibility <Solver> Given the amount of exposed stuff in particular <FXS_JonShafer> mods like FFH wouldn't be possible if we were forced to make everything work through an editor <Solver> The Civ3 editor was big, but if offered access to only a small fraction of the rules you can mod by XML in Civ4. <FXS_jsmith> the possibility for the community to create one is there... =) Will Privateering be a promotion that any unit can get, at least thru XML modding? <alexman> XML modding allows you to make any unit a Pirate, even land units, but there is no such promotion So the colonies will never attempt to become independent themselves? They won't revolt and become a free civ? They'll only be independent if we choose to let it? <alexman> Colonies start out as your vassals, but if you don't treat the right, they may become completely independent Any more info on the WW2 scenario? Will it be a global one? or divided by theatres, i.e. one scenario for europe, one for pacific? <FXS_JonShafer> the WW2 scenario is divided by theater What will be the effects of corporations? <alexman> corporations basically allow you to gain benefits in your cities in exchange for increased maintenance <alexman> Corporation headquarters are like Shrines for religions: more cities with corporation = more gold income You guys REALLY think it's the BIGGEST expansion pack for Civ, or it's just marketing talk? <fxs_Barry> No it really is...we did the math <FXS_jsmith> based on the number of hours we have been working, its the biggest <FXS_jsmith> lol <Solver> And as you guys know, quality matters over quantity. But it just happens to be the best expansion so far at it. Will you be able to impose more civics on the other civs through the UN? For example, force everyone to adopt a free market, or state property? <alexman> No more UN civics resolutions - just the old ones Can you give us any info on how the space race has been changed? <alexman> Space race: you don'w win until your ship has arrived, and the travel time (and success) depends on how many SS components you have built <Solver> You can also visually customize your spaceship. What happened to the collateral damage of siege artillery to the besieged city ? <alexman> Siege weapon combat has changed a bit Will seige weapons work more like Civ3? <alexman> No, but they will not be as powerful as they are in Warlords The standard wisdom is that a Specialist Economy is better in the early game and a Cottage Economy is better during the late, with the extension of the late game, what changes are being made if any to balance these different economic approaches? <alexman> Specialist versus cottage economy balance will not change Will the city governor be improved? <alexman> The city governor is improved. In fact, your automated workers listen to your city governor now! (thanks to Blake) Any new victory conditions? <alexman> The only new victory condition is the ability to win through the Apostolic palace, but that's just another diplomatic victory with a religious element Back to colonies. What are the benefit to creating a colony? Why would you want to? <Solver> You'd want to split off a colony to reduce your expenses <Elhoim> You really cut down your expenses with the colonies split-off I assummed the traits combo for (most) civs got changed? <alexman> Actually, only one existing leader had his traits changed. <alexman> Augustus Will corporations be founded by great merchants or by a great person of the approritate type for the corporation in question (e.g. a GS for a oil synthesizing corporation? <alexman> Each corporation requires their own Great Person (may be the same from some though) Is Ninja really in the game? <FXS_JonShafer> the ancient era Great Spy is actually a Ninja <FXS_JonShafer> so yes, there are actually Ninja in BTS <FXS_JonShafer> but only art-wise <FXS_JonShafer> so you can send your Privateers after your enemies Great Spies and see whether Pirates or Ninja win IS there gonna be a civ to represent seriously underrepresented Eastern Europe? <alexman> Does the Holy Roman Empire count? They controlled much of Eastern Europe, and the Byzantine Empire controlled much of the rest Will there be any Africa-related additions to BTS? <alexman> Yes to Africa Are there any changes to civics? Additions or tweaks? <alexman> Civics have been tweaked to account for Espionage and corporations, and some general balance tweaks too Regarding the new Space Race mechanics -- Will you be able to see "how far" an opponent's ship is from Alpha Centurai in order to gage when to launch your own? And how will espionage effect an opponent's ship? <alexman> Spies will be able to sabotage the spaceship before it's launched <alexman> Espionage also gives you visibility into cities so you know what they're producing <Solver> To the point where you can even open a foreign city's city screen How do tactical nukes work and how are they delivered? <alexman> Tactical Nukes are nukes with a limited range that can be carried by subs Alexman: what is your favorite new feature in BTS? <alexman> I like the little additions to the main game that make for better strategy, like Curassiers and Anti-tank Infantry. I wish all changes were that easy to make Is there more flavour between civs, for example, different artwork for same units, etc...? <FXS_JonShafer> there is new art <FXS_JonShafer> which was produced by some of the modders helping with BTS <FXS_JonShafer> so the same unit will look different for different civs <FXS_JonShafer> something that's cool <alexman> There is some different artwork for the same units, thanks to our fans <FXS_JonShafer> it's not for all civs or all units, but there is a noticeable difference <Solver> The new graphics add a lot of flavour to the game there. <Gogf> Just don't panic when armed scouts run into your land! Can you tell us what the Maoi Statues and Shwedagon Paya will do? <alexman> Moai Statues give you production in all water tiles of that city. It's a national Wonder <alexman> Shwedagon Paya gives access to all Religion civics Can we make "Americans" and other recents civs as Colonization break-off civs, and differentiate between ancient and modern civs? <alexman> Most civs have another civ they create by making a colony. America gets created by many European civs. Any changes to religions? <alexman> There is a new option that allows you to found any religion upon discovering a religion technology Are there any plans or projects beyond "Beyond..."? Civ5? Alpha Centauri 2? Another expansion? <FXS_JonShafer> we are always working on something cool <FXS_jsmith> there are always plans. heh <FXS_JonShafer> but you won't hear about it here, sorry Going back to an OLDER game... Civ3. Any plans to release the source code for it? Alot of modders would love you for it. <alexman> I don't know about releasing the source code for Civ3. But there is source code for Civ4. Why not use that? <GarretSidzaka> LOL some ppl are still addicted to civ3! Any changes to the game engine? Improvments in graphic or in preformance? <alexman> We had to improve performance to account for the more computationally-intensive AI, but in the end I think it's the same as for Warlords Can you explain the new religion options, i.e. how you can choose islam before buddism, and how that affects the game? <alexman> The "choose your religion" option does not really affect the game except that you no longer know that someone researched Meditation when you see the message that Budhism was founded <Gogf> You can still find out if there is a religion left at Meditation, though Does leonard nimoy speak the quotes of the new techs? <FXS_jsmith> We recorded Sid for the new ones <FXS_JonShafer> no Leonard Nimoy in BTS, sorry Will there be any new screenshots be coming out soon? <FXS_jsmith> yes, there will be new shots Solver mentioned earlier that the AI is not only improved for your enemies, but your automanage will be improved also. Will this allow you to "set" workers to only build a certain improvement on this type of terrian? <alexman> The worker options are the same as before. The difference is that they do more intelligent things now <Solver> It's not that sophisticated. What I meant is that Workers act more intelligently and take the city's governor settings into account. <Solver> For example, if you have a city emphasizing commerce, Workers improving its tiles will prefer Windmills to Mines <alexman> It depends how much of a control freakinsh micromanager you are (I am) What kinds of new specialized units will be in BTS? <Solver> Privateers and Paratroopers are really specialized. <alexman> What do you mean by specialized? <Gogf> For example, marines are specialized to land amphibious <alexman> Yes, you can make a tank that flies too, in modding <Solver> Subs aren't new but have become pretty specialized due to their ability to carry tactical warheads Will we be able to open the world builder independently of a game so that we can make custom maps easier for our own mods and stuff? <alexman> Worldbuilder functionality has not changed much In what way will the bonuses change for the AI at higher levels? Less units? <alexman> The AI gets fewer economic bonuses, and I believe fewer starting units too (workers) <Solver> Don't forget the upgrade bonuses Are we going to get more diplomatic options in negociation when a civ comes knocking on our door demanding we go to war? <alexman> No more diplomatic options in the trade screen. Sorry. Will the Memory Allocation Failure on huge maps be fixed? <alexman> The MAF is fixed, thanks to Gyathaar. Now we'll see if that causes other problems. I'm interested in the new Rhye's and Fall scenario. Can you tell us anything new we can expect from it? <Elhoim> In RFC there will be 5 new civs, and a late starting point that speeds up the loading times. Is the new AI capable of making effective invasions over a body of water? <Gogf> Yup! <Solver> Cross-continental invasions have definitely improved <Solver> The AI coordinates sea & land units much better now. So it will use its navy intelligently while dropping off troops. <alexman> We even had to add a loading screen tip so players know to protect their coastal cities now Will there be new resources? <alexman> No new resources, but old resources are now more important because of corporations. At which tech will corporations become available? Can we safely assume its namesake? <Solver> Corporations will require different techs.