Next Civilization: Beyond Earth Update to revamp difficulty, health system and even leader traits

Shaun Seckman and Pete Murray during the last Firaxis Livestream

Several hours ago, Firaxis posted a video from their livestream giving a tutorial on modding, in particular how to add a building to Civilization: Beyond Earth. While this was definitely interesting what would be of more interest to the fans at large was the extra info Pete Murray provided with respect to gameplay changes in the next patch. These changes were added to a master list located on the 2K Forums and I've reposted the list here for your convenience:

• Revisiting difficulty level scaling. Increasing difficulty when playing on Apollo.
• Implementing balance pass on Health system (penalties, bonuses).
• Adjusting certain Virtues for balance.
• Implementing overall unit balance pass (strength, production and strategic resource cost, affinity level requirements, location on tech web).
• Implementing leader/sponsor trait balance pass (Kozlov, Barre, Rejinaldo, and Elodie), as well as some seeded start option adjustments.
• Implementing Covert Ops updates and exploit fixes.
• Implementing Trade Route balance and adjustments, including simpler UI.
• Implementing gameplay bug fixes as reported in the community (Quests, etc.).
• Implementing general AI improvements.
• Adjusting Affinity reward ramping when earning Affinity from Quests.
• Adjusting Station distribution, and arrival timing.
• Improving AI, including energy management, tactical management, tech and victory approaches, etc.

• Correcting screen resolution problems, particularly related to the 144hz refresh rate full-screen (or lack of full-screen) issue.
• Investigating a start-up problem where the game shuts down with an error immediately following the opening movie.
• Investigating crash issues submitted by users, and through Steam crash reporting.
• Adding an in-game option to disable depth of field effect for players that prefer the game without this.

• Ongoing updates to in-game text, tool-tips, etc.
• Correcting an issue where actions could be missing from embarked workers (like repairing a pillaged water improvement)
• Adding "Completed" section to city production menu so players know what they just finished.
• Adding advanced touch controls, gesture support, pen support.
• Adding color icons to the tech web (categorized) with an option to disable.
• Better inform players of approaching AI victory, and updated victory/defeat screen with additional information.

• Achievements not firing if Max Turns was set in previous games. Also investigating some other possible causes.

• Fixing 2D leader fall-back image support for all graphics quality settings

• Correcting multiple desyncs and investigating a crash due to content mismatch.
• Ongoing multiplayer improvements.
• Increasing geographic range of server browser distance filter.

On the gameplay front I find it very interesting that they're revamping the Leader traits since that doesn't often happen in Civilization at least not until a couple of years later when you're releasing a new DLC. This would hint that they were really way off with the Leader traits, although I can't tell one way or another since apparently it sounds like they might nerf Elodie and Kozlov with respect to their free tech but I actually struggled playing Kozlov in my last game - however that might just be because of my unfamiliarity with the game still, instead of any other reason. A simpler UI for the trade routes would be welcome since I liked it how you could sort trade routes by yields, like the ones that made the most gold in Civ V - why couldn't they just bring that UI back in?

I definitely welcome the additional UI information which is sadly lacking in the current version of Beyond Earth especially not knowing what your cities have built or what the technologies on the tech web actually unlock at a glance (colour coding would be welcome and it's not surprising that it's one of the most popular mods on Steam Workshop at the moment). Also knowing how close to victory the AI is would be beneficial - I mean you can check if you go to the victory screen by a progress bar but (a) that doesn't really tell you much and (b) you still don't get alerted whenever the AI gets closer to achieving victory.

Thankfully, I haven't been experiencing too many crashing issues except for the occasional desync when playing multiplayer so hopefully the guys on Firaxis get on top of that, especially for those poor sods that haven't been able to even play the game yet!