CivWiki Monday Newsletter

A semi-weekly newsletter for Civ servers supported by the CivWiki

CivWiki Newsletter for April 22, 2024

• specificlanguage

Good morning and happy Monday from New England!

Things are heating up, for better or for worse, so that’s pretty exciting for Civ! Maybe not for everyone, but I truly hope that things are turning for the better in terms of finding joy on Civ. It is a struggle and I really do understand that in a very serious sense. But even I’ve found some renewed interest in Civ recently, which I think it’s really just dipping into something novel that I haven’t done in a while.

Of course, I can’t say that for everyone, but there’s a Civ project (although, I guess there’s a couple) that I’m working on, so hopefully I can show them very soon. Are we ready for the news?

For this week’s featured image, it’s a familiar place now left behind — the Maester’s Assembly in Mount Augusta. Throughout the trek to the top of the titular mountain, where the Maesters have taken their refuge, tales and history of the original Maesters are present and continue to tell their history as they climb their way up the mountain. As the country now migrates somewhere else, it’s a shame that this great structure — and their books — will remain here for the time being.

Featured Article

Vintage Civ is a Civ server based in Vintage Story. It is notable for being one of the few Civ servers to be in a game that is not Minecraft. Although it itself a derivation and expansion of AbjectPovertyCraft, another Civ server based in Vintage Story that introduced their version of ExilePearl, Vintage Civ expanded upon the concept significantly in scope. It introduced Citadel-like reinforcements and the concept of Snitches into the game, both of which would eventually be adopted into the main game itself.

The initial iteration of Vintage Civ launched in early 2022, during a break between CivClassic and CivMC’s release, which was praised for its features had mixed reception. Its second and longest iteration so far, 2.0, was introduced in May 2022 and saw more emergent gameplay than its prior iteration. Although its admins have announced they would be working on a third iteration in 2024, no progress or release date have been announced as of yet.

A view down Lazuli Lake District, in Vintage Civ 1.0.

This Week Last Year

On the week of April 17 and April 24, 2023:

  • Gang Shi and some Estalian players confronted Yoahtl during Estalia’s build night; Gwua was pearled but was eventually resolved.
  • Cortesia Del Mar and the Transport Union signed a treaty to make their nether portal publicly available.
  • The Monument Group in Pavia opened up their bank, allowing any player to create a holding account.
  • Laurentia decided to leave CivReign in favor of joining the Imperial Federation on CivMC, citing high difficulty and low player count.
  • Yoahtl announced its acceptance into the SEC alliance, alongside Icenia, the Arsenio Pact, among others.
  • fastestgrass of Gang Shi was pearled by Icenia after continued trespassing in the territory. Both parties have agreed to prevent further incidents within their countries.
  • CivReign continued their Spring Festival event. Admins intend to continue developing changes regardless of the player count.
  • Return of the Civ updated their plugins and beta server to 1.18, the latest released version of Vintage Story.

The News

Isernia Castle in Griffin. No, it’s not in Icenia. (cr: Seekinq)

Around the Server

Metagame Highlights

The Fun Stuff

Development of Withervale, in the Imperial Federation. (cr: kingycob)


Cool Content


Non-Civ Content

Poll of the Week

Winterbourne Harbour, and its reflection in the sea. (cr: Princess Bow)

Last week we had 65 responses to our three questions.

Get ready for a long explanation because what I gave you were some really heated questions.

World Wonders, Part 1

Our first question was part of the ongoing World Wonders polls, about which ones you would consider world wonders!

Now there were a lot of people that didn’t understand how I was conducting this. To not overwhelm you with too many choices, the wonder selection is being done, tournament style, so over the course of several newsletters, you’ll be seeing nearly everything that was submitted, along with some of my own additions that I also consider to be pretty good.

The seeding wasn’t finalized at the time when I made this, but it is now — these four were some interesting picks I saw that deserved some praise, and ones that weren’t in Pavia. The ones with the most votes overall (not by seeding) will be selected to proceed to the next round until we can narrow things down to a decent list. You can, of course, pick as many as you want.

I might recirculate Volterra City, as it was slightly ambiguous of whether it was referring to Shockton or Volterra Prime. I’ll keep you all updated of the count over time.

Chore or Enjoyment?

Our second question was about whether Civ feels like a chore or something enjoyable.

I only ask this question now as quite recently as a game that I previously really enjoyed, Hearthstone, have made a change to their reward system that makes games feel more like a chore for the quests than something I do for the fun of playing the game.

I kind of wanted to see how it felt for a game like Civ, where the grind is ever present and the game less enjoyable (arguably). Interesting to see that many people sort of view this as a chore but somehow still enjoy this game. Its biggest strength is undoubtedly its player-driven economy and civlization building but I think the true detriment is twofold: botting and history combined with PvP aspects, and I think that’s what many people have been starting to feel it might be a chore.

But hey, that’s just a theory!

Other Game Mechanics in Civ

The final question had to do with asking what game mechanics from other games they’d like to bring into Civ. Besides the obvious “add gun” and more recent “cannibalism” memes…

Stardew Valley

was the largest game-specific response. I find this very interesting, since it does have a farming and shop system, but its laid back environment and continued opportunities to explore make it a honestly pretty good thing to live up to on Civ. I think we’d all aspire to be at least a bit more relaxed.

Dungeons/PvP realms/shards

This is something that I’ve seen done in other Minecraft servers; one fun idea has been those prison servers, but you could bring resources from the prison to your survival area.

I do think this would be fun as a PvE limited event, like a roguelike with a special reward. However, this would be a significant hamper on development time, but it would be very interesting to battle big bosses for big prizes. Would definitely get the PvP scene involved.

More events, distractions, etc.

Speaking of which, events were a very common theme in the responses. Just things to excite the playerbase. Some ideas included “clue scrolls from Runescape”, “CivTCG”, or “anything at the expense of people’s ingame livelihoods”, which I wouldn’t condone.

Now, hot take, but while events are a nice side effect, I don’t think they are the end all, be all solution. Overwatch did regular events but didn’t really do much to excite the playerbase past the first year. The creativity of the events help, but relying on events as a crutch will make people just more bored of events in the future.

Skill trees, tech tree advancement, etc.

For Civ veterans, you may know that Civcraft 3.0 had a planned (albeit extremely underbaked) skill tree plugin called SkilUp. Of course, this idea is so dead in the water, you may as well call it the Titanic.

This player suggested kind of Sid Meier’s Civ VI-like research/civic system, but it might be more interesting to see a system like the jokers in Balatro. Having some sort of soft-tech enhancement way to focus into specific niches, like democratic cities have a bonus that increases factory yields by a small amount by however many people are in its territory but lowers crop yields by the same amount, could be an interesting idea… but I’m not a game designer.

Although, I don’t think this is possible without a city core like mechanic.


Of course, we know this is something that people have wanted for a while. I think it’s only a matter of time until Shulker Boxes get on live, but it would help massively for builders and would cause a huge economic shock. That being said, probably needs to have a compacted stack restriction.

PvP with less stakes

There are two much longer responses associated with this particular idea, however the crux of the issue is that there are many people that WANT to PvP, but are restricted by the diplomacy you see in Civ. People are extremely adverse in going to war. Somehow finding a way to lower the stakes a bit would enable a more interesting PvP mindset, where it’s encouraged but not detrimental if raided.

Many people mention possible solutions as a “separate dimension”, or “conflict management and de-escalation”, but I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution in thie case.

This being said, pearls are a huge detriment to the PvP landscape in this case. Maybe we need to lock pearls behind a tech tree?

Vote Now!

At this point, with me writing so much for this, I feel like the newsletter is just an excuse to talk about whatever’s on the poll last week.

As a reminder, wonder questions are approval voting, so please vote whatever you think are wonders and top scorers will move onto the next round. You’ll be seeing nearly everything that was submitted, along with some of my own additions that I also consider to be pretty good. We’re still on Round 1, and we will be for quite a while!

Please note that all information submitted is anonymous. A red star (
) means that this question is required to submit.
Which of these places do you consider as world wonders?
Select all that are applicable.
How weird do you think you are?
If you were to add a mod/tool to help you in Civ gameplay, what you would you add? (This does not include macros/bots)

I will say, I am running out of questions to ask so if anyone has any suggestions, I’d like to hear them from you at @specificlanguage on discord.

I do kinda feel like 538, so I might publish a page with all polls in the future…

Speaking of… Cry for Help

SPQR flooding their Coliseum for boat battles, for their anniversary celebration! (cr: Mark_Antony)

Thank you for reading this week’s newsletter!

Unfortunately, I haven’t made progress on a lot of things this week — mostly busy and also trying to be patient at the same time. I hope you’ll understand!

If you’d like to help support this newsletter through your own contributions (and as I’m leaving in roughly a few months, I need the help man!), I would highly appreciate your contributions to @specificlanguage!

Otherwise, I really appreciate all your support and as always…