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Should I get Humankind on release day?

  • Yes

    Votes: 13 59.1%
  • No

    Votes: 9 40.9%

  • Total voters


Sep 1, 2014
So, as the release date is swiftly approaching, I am considering whether I should buy Humankind. I have some concerns about it, as I know there are aspects I will probably dislike, such as the concept of pre-defined regions. I also didn't get much out of Endless Legend, and not for lack of trying. It just didn't pull me in. That was probably in part because of the region system, and also in part because tactical combat was not enjoyable for me. I know things have been changed in Humankind however, and I know that tactical combat can be really enjoyable when done well, such as for example in Age of Wonders 3 and Fallen Enchantress. Even a very simple combat system like in Conquest of the New World can be deeply enjoyable if it is well designed.

I know that many here have been playing it for a while, and so I am curious about how you feel about. How does combat stack up against the other games I mentioned? What would you say are the most and least enjoyable parts of the game? Is it worth getting on release day?
The tactical combat is quite good, IMO, especially since you can control your units unlike EL, and plays on the actual world map like Civ (not in a separate, unrelated map like the examples you presented). Personally, I love the region system, I have a hard time going back to free form city placement, and it's honestly it's quite similar but without having to calculate distances. I really love the game art, from visuals to music. The least enjoyable? Perhaps that the design it's a bit too yield focused, and that I miss being able to create road systems.

About getting it on release, I'd say yes, the game is quite fun, and the devs are in this for the long run and they are very open to hear the community ideas. And since we tend to play these games over and over, having new updates with improvements is always a good excuse to give it another run :D
I also did not get much mileage from EL or ES, but when I played Victor and Open Beta builds, I was hooked. The change of the game's setting was decisive and mechanisms very engaging. As most enjoyable I've found exploration, landgrab, city building; trading and diplomacy were also quite interesting. So what that it does have preset regions, it does not matter that much, you still get to pick the settling spot with the best yields for your needs. Quite an interesting and different take on territorial division.
Tactical combat is good, I like it more than in EL. Combining cultures is also great fun, there are interesting dilemmas of being in hurry to pick up what you want or being slower and choose from what's left. And the map is gorgeous, the music is soothing and beautiful, it is a pleasure to look at.

For least enjoyable, I don't really know, maybe bugs and imbalances in AI behaviour, it was rather passive and yielded too easily, but these were testing builds, I hope the things have been improved.

All in all, I'm looking very much forward to playing the release version soon and discovering the balance changes and how the end game looks like.

As for the question, no vote from me, because how could I know the answer - it is entirely up to you :) There are streamers if you want to get a closer look, though nothing beets hands-on own experience. Still, if you decide to watch, I could recommend Shennryr's streams, as his commentary are in most coherent speech and he does take the necessary time to look into all different elements of the game.
I'm going to refrain from recommendations since I'm a ViP. However, I can compare the combat between EL and HK since I do own EL, and like you OP, it never really stuck. Battle mode in HK is more HOMM like now, where you deploy units and then control their decisions. Whereas in EL, one sets up a tactical plan and then hits play basically and spectates. In other words, one has far more control of combat in HK. IMO combat is one of the very key features of HK.
I’d say yes. Not a VIP but can speak to my experience between HK beta and EL.

I played Victor beta after getting burnt out after a year of playing Civ 6 (my first 4x) religiously during Covid. After my first game, fell in love with it. After the beta ended, I picked up EL to get some more of the FIDSI action, but found the combat and city planning extremely dull in comparison. I don’t even know if it had anything to do with the order system in EL, I felt I had full control of my units after a few games, but I just wasn’t interested in any of the stuff to do in the game. The most combat mostly felt trivial or gimmicky and the tech tree was a snooze. Games also felt meandering.

In contrast, the terrain in HK really shines and the pressure starts turn 1 and the early action/production is quick and consequential. I felt the closed beta map was a bit chaotic compared to Victor, but it’s a joy to move units around during battle and switch from offense to defense on your different flanks. Also giving orders while the previous animation is playing out feels action packed.

The unique units feel so rewarding to use as most open up a unique style of play beyond just better stats. The hoplites involve twisting in formation around cliffs, longbows provide a long distance rain of death you can launch over several lines of melee (read “hoplites”) when everyone else has switched to line of sight crossbows that can’t fire over melee on flat ground, samurai are fast no-retreat melee that contends (well) at the advent of gunpowder, and when everyone trades swords for guns the whole dynamic of combat changes delightfully with your standard units now having LoS range. Part of the fun may be that you pick up a pretty diverse army with melee, range and cavalry that you have collected over the eras. Every unique unit felt as special as Inca scouts or chariot archers, but I never just carpeted my rivals with unique-unit-only armies.

I also enjoyed the feeling of picking each new culture to play catch-up in part of my game, constantly shifting focus.

All that was enough for me to keep my preorder, I’m sure there will be lots of fine tuning to suit the game to my taste, but it’s one I’d hate to miss and have been excitedly waiting for.
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far, it has been very helpful. :) I'm afraid my dislike for regions, as implemented in EL, is unlikely to change. To me it detracts from the enjoyment of the game map. For one thing, it feels wrong to me that you should start out in ancient times with a bunch of borders already in place, rather than to be able to shape such things yourself. For another, at least in EL, I felt it took away from how I explored the map and planned my city placements, as the regions gave restrictions which felt arbitrary, and in a sense reduced the map from a complex and interesting thing with hundreds of tiles, to a patchwork of 30 odd mega-tiles. I respect that others feel differently, but I personally really disliked it. If the goal is to control city density, there are other ways. You could have a larger minimum distance between cities, or you could have a combination of minimum distance and fertility limiting the number of city sites, such as in Fallen Enchantress. Again, I accept that others feel differently, and I'm hoping HK's implementation is different enough from EL that I will mind it less.

It is also not like this is the only aspect of the game. You're never going to agree with every choice the developer makes in a game like this. Civ 6 has a myriad things I disagree with, and I still got over 2k hours in it. As long as there are other aspects I enjoy, such as for example city development and combat, it could still be a great experience. I am happy to hear that combat seems much more satisfying compared to EL, and I will check out Shennryr's streams.

Again, thanks for all the input, it is much appreciated. :)
I do have a concrete question about regions: If I settle a city next to a couple of resources, but one is on the other side of a region border, can I still get it, or will I have to control the neihbouring region to do so?
You need to control the region the resource is in (or trade for it). The system doesn't work as in EL though, as you can attach territories to cities, and cities thus usually consist of 2-4 territories (more is possible). So there's no need to found more cities just to get some more resources. To me, expansion feels rather natural and less arbitrary compared to EL, but I can't predict how it will feel for you.
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The regional borders are hard too, there's no flexibility to assign to a different city, or expand a region.

If you're hesitant, I'd advise wait. You're not going to lose anything by watching for a week or two after release.
Personally I adore HK's region system, I know you have your own strong opinion but maybe my own will at least help you find positives.

1) It makes balancing the map regarding resources, terrain features and yields much easier for map generator, I never liked how in civ you always end up with those almost worthless huge areas of just nothing but flat grass or forest (yes I know IRL a lot of land is useless but that's because it's desert or polar regions, not because there is a huge green land somewhere with just nothing but grass).
2) It makes the spread of empires much more organic feeling and better looking than the border gore of civ games which is terrible for both aestethics and IRL comparisions. IRL empires even in the ancient era had continuous borders/sphere of influence, not blobs of borders separated by unclaimed land.
3) It gets rid of the utterly unrealistic border system of civ games, which is a slowly growing mold consuming empty land, accelerated by theatre and opera or all things. This is not how IRL history of national boundaries worked, nations simply claim areas by their military and political authority and colonize/take them over if there is no resistance. Not to mention the fact civ's border system is annoying to deal with, with the constant problem of "that one tile is not claimed yet", which is imo a pointless challenge if it id not rooted in reality in any way.
4) It on its own improves the viability of late game cities, because they can claim huge land instantly (like IRL colonialism worked), without the pointless mold growth period.
5) It is really that unrealistic that the world is pre - divided into regions? IRL you have geographic regions with well defined borders and many regular patterns of control over similar areas. Rivers, mountain ranges, deserts, valleys, peninsulas, fertile and barren areas in history often caused regions to (roughly) force certain cultural or political borders. Another extreme, civ's total lack of limitations for the mold spread, is unrealistic as well, where cities have those totally random chaotic borders forming tentacles and corridors in various directions.
Good points, thank you. I do not fully agree with all of them, of course. :) Especially point 5, as I don't think the borders represent natural geografic regions. At least in the livestream by GamerZakh I have been checking out, they seem to be all over the place. Still, there are some good news here for me: the fact that regions are much smaller than in EL, and that you can claim multiple regions for a city should make a significant difference in gameplay. I also appreciate that they are less visually obtrusive than in EL. It is still definitely not my preferred solution, but perhaps it is something I can tolerate after all.
Yeah, what really makes a big difference in HK compared to EL is the possibility to attach regions to cities, and the first one is pretty much free. So in a way, it's kinda like playing Russia in Civ VI, in which you plop an outpost/city, and get a lot of territory. And if there's a luxury in a territory close by, you make an outpost and attach. Personally, I look at the regions and say "these 3 will be a city", so in a way city placement is a bit like Civ, but instead of looking at the tiles the city will have, you look at the regions it will cover.
Some things I learned in closed beta, since the region borders were almost designed to interfere with Zhou mountain adjacencies:

1. If you have two cities in neighboring regions, and build quarters up to the border in one, you can build a new quarter next to those border quarters in the other city. So if there is a super mountain adjacency region in a horrible place tucked away near the border of one region, you can just found a city near that spot in the neighboring region, build up to the border, then build to that awesome adjacency.

2. (Some?) natural adjacencies and FIDSI for a city only count hexes within that city’s region. Again stood out for the Zhou that a lot of otherwise good mountain adjacency spots had the mountains split between regions. This was in closed beta, I do rather think that adjacencies for natural features should cross regional boundaries, as they do for district adjacencies.

Overall I now much prefer the HK regions for early game expansion than the settler race/steal model of Civ 6. OW’s claiming of city sites is a nice improvement too, but I was particularly drawn to how HK handles claiming and disputing territory, using any military unit to plop down an outpost bought with influence, then having the opportunity to skirmish over these outposts short of declaring war. So you need both the influence resource and the military to back it up. I much prefer racing for territory by building useful military units rather than having to devote early production to costly settlers.

And yeah, good point on no harm in waiting, I would just recommend not letting experiences with EL hold people back. It also occurred to me that the pop system feels so much more natural in HK than EL, with each pop consuming 6 food (the output of one farmer without upgrades) but requiring much less food per new pop. In particular, as you improve your food infrastructure, you can then shift jobs away from farming while maintaining a good growth rate. Together with using pops to produce units and build via forced labor, this just makes the system fee so much more dynamic to me, naturally shifting between periods of growth, research, production, and sometimes(?) even commerce. For instance, in the early game you can start a city with whatever population you want (since you can easily have 10 tribal units and disband them to form pops). However there is no value driving pops up if you just have to dedicate them to farming just to feed themselves. So you want to pick a pop that allows boosting production and science, while replacing trained units, and your city will quickly grow to that. So for new cities, it never feels like time is the limiting factor in reaching a stable population.
In a different thread it was mentioned it will be released on Gamepass. If you've never used gamepass, you get a trial for €1 for a month (I think this promotion is still on).

I'm going to pay €10 to play it for a month, then buy it around Christmas on sale if I enjoyed it. In the end I'll probably pay as much as if I had bought it full price, but without the commitment.
I played EL quite a bit a couple of years ago, and when HK was announced with Regions also, was not impressed. I know too much about how regional/state borders have wandered back and forth over the centuries to like the idea of borders that are 'hard-coded' from 10000 BCE to the present day.
But, having played a bunch of hours of Humankind, it does grow on you, for many of the reasons already posted here.
One thing that definitely helps is the Attach Outpost and Merge City functions. As soon as you start your first city, you can attach any neighboring Outpost, and therefore its neighboring region, to the city and its region. The cost is, at first, nominal. Later, if you should so desire, you can also Detach regions and merge two neighboring cities. In short, there is actually a lot of in-game flexibility in the 'regional borders'. And, a big plus for me at least, the region system gives you a Faction/Civ whose borders are contiguous, and not a series of city-centered blobs of territory as in Civ.

Mind you, my Perfect System would probably be a combination of Civ's individual city radius with Humankind's more extensive option to change boundaries of the radii into a contiguous Faction, only by tile or (variable) set of tiles than by a fixed region.
This is not true, you can detach and attach as you want (as long as it's bordering).

In all the open devs I played, you couldn't reassign tiles to different cities. Has that changed for release?
In all the open devs I played, you couldn't reassign tiles to different cities. Has that changed for release?

If you meant regions, yes. You can detach a region from a city and attach it on other.
The region system is a little inorganic for sure, but it tends to end up producing games that look way more organic than Civ, imo. There's usually space between cities. So I'm cool with it, though obviously I hope they keep iterating on the system, providing options for the size of regions etc.
If you meant regions, yes. You can detach a region from a city and attach it on other.

I was referring to KayAU's question if a resource is on the other side of the border from a city that buts the border can that city claim it. In the open devs I played you couldn't reassign tiles to cities in neighbouring regions.
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