Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on November 29, 2016 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals


This is an opt-in patch:

To enable the patch, please do the following:

  • Select Galactic Civilization III in your Steam Library list
  • Right-click and select Properties
  • Select the BETAS tab
  • From the dropdown, select opt-in and click Close (if you don't see this option, restart Steam)
  • Steam should pull down the changed files; if you ever want to go back, do the same as above but select default

Please note: The opt-in is an early preview of the next update and you might experience bugs or other issues. We encourage players who try the opt-in to report any issues to the support forum or via support ticket so we can address them.


  • Memory: introduced new texture compression for planetary and ship textures to greatly reduce memory usage and dramatically improve startup times.
  • Removed legacy stopwatch code from the sound system
  • Moved old profiling junk
  • Reduced CPU usage of the particles and main graphics threads
  • Removed redundant debug output
  • Multithreaded the texture loading at the start of game to improve performance.


  • AI builds scout ships later in the game to keep exploring very large galaxies
  • Dramatically reduced AI >normal economic bonuses (no longer needs them)
  • Re-designed the way the AI expands into the galaxy with colony ships so that its expansion no longer stalls on large maps
  • Dramatically reduced the amount of time an AI will interact with a player if they are not within ship range
  • AI doesn't try to bribe other players to go to war unless they and the other players have a decent military already
  • AI will no longer give tech gifts to players with a different ideology (i.e. no more Drengin giving you tech if you're a nice person)
  • AI now scales the number of similar ship projects based on number of colonies rather than a flat number
  • AI pumps up colony ship production priority if there are a lot of nice planets laying around
  • AI pumps out fewer Constructors in general
  • Re-designed the way the AI determines which planets should get a shipyard to be more (way more) intelligent
  • Updated AI's handling of adjacency bonuses to be more intelligent
  • AI values planet quality more when picking planets to colonize 
  • AI somewhat more heuristic on tech research
  • AI somewhat quicker to war
  • Auto Surveying Survey Ships will now survey extra anomalies if the ship has extra movement points.


  • Starbase minimum distance reduced from 5 to 3 tiles.
  • AI tends to focus more on tech (generally) than previously.
  • AI will build survey ships late in game.
  • AI provided with a much wider variety of ship designs to choose from with the various strategies.
  • AI weights units much more closely than previously in order to not make one virtually impossible to build.
  • Opposing culture diplomatic penalty reduced from 1.25 to 1.1 if AI is benevolent.
  • Opposing culture diplomatic penalty increased from 1.25 to 2 if AI is merciless.
  • Opposing culture diplomatic penalty increased from 1.25 to 2 if AI is cruel.
  • Close to victory diplomatic penalties increased from 1 to 5.
  • Ripe for conquest diplomacy penalty reduced from 0.75 to 0.1 if AI is benevolent.
  • Ripe for conquest diplomacy penalty increased from 0.75 to 1.25 if AI is aggressive.
  • Minimum planet class to be a manufacturing world reduced from 7 to 4.
  • Max number of colony ships the AI will construct at once increased from 2 to 3.
  • Max slider focus reduced from 95% to 75% (to deal with coercion penalty).
  • Coercion forgiveness eliminated (there is always some coercion if you move off from center).
  • Maximum coercion reduced from 50% to 35%.
  • Colony Capital production points reduced from 5 to 1.
  • Civilization Capital production points reduced from 5 to 1.
  • Influence Radius root increased from 1.75 to 4 (i.e. influence ZOC will start out much much smaller now).
  • Tech inflation penalty significantly reduced.
  • Penalty for switching a constructor to a colony ship increased from 50% to 75% (yea, you know who you are).
  • Pirates moved further away from starting location.
  • Increased the variance for the various settings (minors, pirates, etc.).
  • Modified the governor script to provide a bit more flexibility based on planet bonuses when building improvements.
  • Colony capital maintenance eliminated.
  • Colony capital hub provides a 2 (was 1) level bonus to adjacent buildings if they are population or manufacturing or research.
  • Civ capital hub provides a 3 level bonus (was 1).
  • Reduced maint. slightly on research buildings.
  • Rare habitable planets decreased from 30% to 25%.
  • Nebula and black holes and anomalies made much less common on all settings.
  • Occasional planet frequency amount doubled from 1X to 2X.
  • Common stars modifier increased from 0.9 to 1.
  • Common planet frequency amount increased from 0.75X to 3X (this also fixes a bug where common was less than occasional).
  • Abundant stars increased from 1X to 1.5X.
  • Planet Frequency increased from 0.25X to 3.5X (also fixes bug).
  • Tiny map base objects increased from 32 to 120 (i.e. tiny maps will be a lot more filled).
  • Small map base object count increased from 64 to 150.
  • Medium map Base object count increased from 110 to 200.
  • Large map base object count increased from 155 to 300 (i.e. over twice as many stars/planets/etc. in a particular size).
  • Huge map base object count increased from 250 to 350.
  • INSANE map object count INCREASED from 1200 to 1400!
  • Sensor cost components reduced slightly.
  • Cargo module cost reduced from 27 to 10 (cheaper colony ships -- but remember, planets now rely more on population for their production).
  • Tiny hull cost reduced from 11 to 10.
  • Small hull cost reduced from 25 to 20.
  • Medium hull HP increased from 100 to 120.
  • Large hull cost increased from 128 to 300.
  • Large hull HP increased from 250 to 600.
  • Large hull storage increased from 100 to 120.
  • Large hull logistics cost increased from 7 to 10.
  • Huge hull cost increased from 432 to 500.
  • Huge hull HP increased from 500 to 800.
  • Huge hull storage increased from 250 to 300.
  • Huge hull logistics increased from 10 to 16.
  • Cargo hull cost reduced from 42 to 24.
  • Cargo hull HP reduced from 10 to 1.
  • Cargo hull logistics increased from 5 to 6.

Improvements/Bugs Fixes

  • Added author fields for maps, factions and ships.
  • Starbases will now notify the you that they need to be upgraded after being initially built.  
  • Fixed double counting of trade routes for AI diplomacy purposes.
  • Fixed late game crashes related to textures on large maps.
  • Fixed an infrequent crash on loading large maps.
  • Fixed bug that could cause the AI to see tiles in the opposite map position of where they were exploring.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the AI to reduce the priority weighting on colony ship production based on the # of targetable planets.
  • If a player faction is set to random in the prefs.ini file, the quick-start tooltip will no longer display an invalid faction.
  • Fixed an issue where if you changed the planetary spending wheel, the displayed. manufacturing time for improvements wasn't being updated at the same time.
  • Clicking available projects tabs no longer resets the improvement cursor.
  • Add ESC to close Ship Designer and Diplomacy screens.
  • Starbases no longer incorrectly show the upgrade option when none avail.
  • Fixed a crash related to the AI defying the UP.\

If you want to read my Dev Diary full of me complaining and whining and how I worked on the update visit here: and here: 

Comments (Page 3)
on Dec 01, 2016

Will 1.9 be the only update before Crusade, or will this open up a can of worms that lead to more updates?


on Dec 01, 2016

About research speed:

I would say the current speed is appropriate for a 'fast' or even 'faster' setting. But since we are talking about these settings: In the current implementation they do next to nothing, because they only count like a planet improvement in that they are additive with them and not multiplicative. If someone finds the time, it would be great if they could be implemented in a more useful way. For example by affecting the tech inflation exponents.

Ship sizes:

I think the difference between large and medium hulls in usefulness is too large. Large hulls can be researched as early as your 13th tech (Iconians earlier I believe), which is very early in the game. There is basicly no reason to build medium ships now.

Starbases and Administration:

On an interesting tangent, I think this together with the intention of opening up more strategies may offset bad luck with the galaxy generation to some degree. I like this. It means I can look at my - only one colonizable planet outside my home system start - and say "hmm, means I will play a different strategy" then instead of "hmm, I am gonna have to fight an uphill battle".

Question: Administration could ultimatley be highly correlated to management effort a player has to invest in each turn for optimum play. Will there be a game settings to how much Administration there is in the round? Will it be tied to galaxy size?


Resources not balanced: A couple other minor balance issues: by a couple hundred turns on an insane map, I had found several of every resource except thulium and elerium--I had found a single thulium early on and much later found 2 elerium in a nebula. That said, I believe I had nebulas and black holes set to uncommon and asteroids set to rare. Resources were set either to rare or uncommon (I can check if this matters).
I think it does. I am somewhat certain (I tested restarting the game a lot when working out how starting systems work), that it works like this for asteroids:

- Asteroid groups get created.
-> Number of groups is independent of rarity setting, but number of asteroids per group depends on the setting
- Each asteroid group has a chance to contain one (and no more) strategic ressource (there can be more with events though)

this means for durantium any setting above 'none' should give the same (averaged over many games) yield of durantium.

Here's where I get more into the realm of guesswork:

- In difference to asteroids thulium and promethon spawn from planets, more specificly from dead planets in a near star orbit and gas giants respectively. The planet rarity (and star rarity?) effects how many planets there are and therefore how many chances on generating a strat ressource of this kind there will be. More planets -> more promethion and thulium.

-> I think that's the reason for thulium being very rare sometimes, because dead worlds in the near star orbit are so rare
-> Or it is intentional by SD. with data archives and jamming fleet boosters, it gives access to, are some of the strongest elements in the game.

Anti-matter and Elerium depend on black hole and nebula frequency respectively. I had no problem with Elerium in my last games, since I have nebula on abundant allways.

on Dec 01, 2016

Is the bug that breaks your game if you add 'Cheat' to launch options though steam back/not been fixed?

Before I updated to the new beta the game would work by typing 'Cheat' in the steam Launch Options window but now it dosnt? It seems the wiki says "dont use it though steam or it breaks your game and u need to download" however it was working for me before the update..

[I was going to post a separate post with the "bug" except the wiki says dont do it? so here is what i was going to post]

In Launch Options you add the word Cheat and it adds itself to GalCiv's executable file durin launch. However that dosnt work anymore.
I know the command is -cheat, but the '-' is already added by steam. Likewise even if i change it to -cheat it has the same error.

Image 1 Is the Launch Options window

Image 2 is the error Im getting each time i press "Ok" to continue. instead of opening the game it is just bringing up the error again but with an extra "cheat" at the end. So Error "Cheat" becomes "Cheat Cheat" to "Cheat Cheat Cheat" ect.

In case its related during startup after the update Avast said it was scanning the game for the first time before it would start (which found no errors) but im not sure if thats related. Even disabling Avast completely wont let the game run.


 (Imdur is iffy lately so also added the URLs)

Image 1 -

Image 2 -


Console commands wiki (showing do not use)

How to add Launch Options



You can probably ignore me as im sure the answer is just 'Dont do it as we said dont'
I just found it odd that it worked for me before so thought i would bring it up

on Dec 01, 2016

It seems like 1.83 had more habitual planets to me.

on Dec 01, 2016

Some additional feedback on 1.9 and observations (Normal AI 92 factions in game on Insane map).  Slider is set to 39% Research/Manufacturing 22% Economy.

  • General Gameplay
    • I agree with the others turn time does appear to be faster, so far averaging 10-20 seconds per turn on turn 91.
    • AI not looking for Relics, no AI star bases seen by turn 91, although limited vision into AI's space at this point.
    • AI not defending planets, 2 AI declared (normal) and they are leaving their planets undefended.  As well as military is top of the known factions while I'm near the bottom they aren't prepared for war and showing no signs of threat by turn 91.
  • Gameplay Bugs or Concerns.
    • When one rush builds a building, the game doesn't tell you that it's being built, it just looks like it will still take the normal amount of turns.  (Not seen prior to this update.)
    • Research is off the scale by turn 91 on very slow game pace/tech rate.  I'm at 512 where prior to the changes 512 would barely give me anything for techs at this part of the game.  Next closest faction appears to be around 50 based on the graphs...
    • Of known factions I by far have more planets (23) to the next closest Torians (9) one of the waring faction.

Long story short it appears the AI is not prepared for war when they are declaring war and will just roll over and play dead.

on Dec 02, 2016


The answer is that we have to heavily buff influence starbases and other culture features.  Previously, it was pretty effortless to cover the galaxy in your color.

100% agree--and that is what I was driving at in my post. I think an influence victory shouldn't be a given but something to work toward.

@zuPloed - thanks for the info. I was aware of most of that, but the setup *felt* different this time around. Guessing that has to do with my setup and the following change:

  • Nebula and black holes and anomalies made much less common on all settings.

I'll revisit how I have this configured.

I also wanted to say that while I stated in my previous post that the AI seemed to be functioning on a much lower level, I hadn't met everyone... and the issue may or may not be colonization related. I met the Drengin and Krynn somewhere around turn 230...

Within about 30 turns, their power ratings (particularly the Drengin's) skyrocketed.

I also met the Yor in the meantime, and their rating was likewise pretty high, relative to everyone else's.

I'm not sure what specifically caused the disparity, but having AI of the same difficulty ranging in power rankings from 152 (Iridium) to 20,675 (Drengin) by turn 280 seems a bit... extreme. I can also attest that the Drengin did not appear to have used either of the ship-granting ideology perks. (I used the Pragmatic "Cautious" perk and pushed my power rating from about 1,000 to about 9,000 in the span of a turn, so my first thought was that must've been what the Drengin did--but that appears not to be so.)

Again, this may simply be a function of the number and placement of the available habitable planets... but there was definitely a lot less disparity in AI power ratings before this patch, so I assume it is related to the AI changes.

on Dec 02, 2016

I think there is some disparity, as I am noticing certain AI factions like the Thalens or Arcaens consistently underperforming in all of my games, but the factions like Drengin seeming to explode in power. I cannot put my thumb on the exactly what causes this, but I'm starting to believe that there may need to be some more balancing needed. 

on Dec 02, 2016

I am impressed that Stardock is continuing to patch this game a year-and-a-half after release.  Thanks for demonstrating  a commitment to quality and customer service that is sorely lacking in most video game companies today. 

I played two games on 1.90, both as the Terrans.  My first game was on a medium map at normal difficulty and I achieved a technological victory.  My second game was on a large map at gifted difficulty and I stopped playing once my victory was inevitable and the AI no longer posed any threat. 

Here is my feedback based on those two games….

As others have mentioned, cultural growth has been nerfed too badly.  In previous versions, it was too easy to win a cultural victory, even without specifically trying to do so -- all it took was building a cultural starbase to cover each planet, and then victory was almost assured.  However, the fix in this patch has taken things too far.  In my two games, I was unable to flip a single AI planet.  In one case, an AI race colonized Mars, right next to my capital Earth.  I covered Mars and Earth with two (2) cultural starbases, each kitted out with the latest cultural modules that I had researched, but Mars never flipped. 

The AI declared war on me a couple times but completely failed to prepare its military before doing so.  They sent several single ships into my territory, but no fleets.   The AI should not declare an unprovoked war unless it has some fleets and transports ready to invade enemy territory.  They also left many of their planets completely undefended, not garrisoned by even a single ship.  I configured some troop transport ships with a bunch of engines for speed and captured a big chunk of the enemy’s empire in a single turn.

Research time is too fast, and the human player quickly outpaces the AI as soon as the human builds out some research-focused planets.  I was discovering two, and sometimes even three, techs in a single turn by going into the tech tree and selecting a tech several iterations beyond my current state.  To try to compensate for this, prior to beginning my second game, I manually doubled all Terran tech costs in the Age of War and quadrupled them in Age of Ascencion, but that made little difference.  Once my research focused planets were up-and-running I could still discover most techs in 1-2 turns.  Too summarize, in the late game the AI falls hopelessly behind in research.  Maybe research buildings are overpowered and should be toned down because the human probably makes better use of them than the AI does.  Or maybe the Player should only be allowed to discover a maximum of one tech per turn.  Excess research over the cost of the current tech being researched would still carry over towards the next tech in the tech tree, but the carryover would be capped at 99% of the cost of the next tech.  

It is prohibitively expensive to upgrade ships, so much so that I scrapped all old ships and built new ones rather than paying for upgrades.  In past games, my modus operandi was to build a bunch of obsolete ships and keep them stacked at the central point of my empire.  As soon as I went to war, I would immediately upgrade all of the obsolete hulls to the latest technology.  Thus, after a one-turn delay to await the upgrades, I could send a large, fully modernized fleet straight into battle.  I suppose that was an exploit to be corrected, but the fix and gone too far and upgrades are now too costly.

On my medium map game, I do not recall seeing any Elerium anywhere the entire galaxy.  I did not have any Elerium mines myself, and my scout ships could not locate any Elerium whatsoever.  Resources should be scarce to make them strategically relevant and worth fighting over, and since this is a strategy game, the Player should have to make tough choices about how to best utilize his resources.  That being said, resources are too scarce now.

The new functionality notifying the Player that a starbase can be upgraded is a good concept but you need to add a ‘skip’ or ‘ignore’ button.  I often leave constructors sitting in my starbases awaiting a technology that I will research at some point in the future.  This is particularly true for Xeno and Mining starbases.  If, in the meantime, I research say a shield technology, I do not want to have to eject the ship from the starbase and hit the space bar to end that ship’s turn, then move that ship back into the starbase the next turn.   As currently designed, namely without a ‘skip’ option, this new functionality has made the starbase micromanagement problem worse rather than better. 

Regarding AI ship deployment and design….

The AI should deploy its ships in fleets rather than sending individual ships into battle alone to get annihilated piecemeal. 

Later in the game, the AI should put two (or maybe even three) engines on its ships so they can move faster.  When a fleet on a large+ size map is moving at say 5 hexes per turn, that fleet becomes strategically irrelevant. 

Once average planet population has achieved a certain threshold, the AI should begin configuring its troop transport ships with two invasion pods instead of the standard one.  In other words, each troops transport would carry 6 soldiers instead of only 3.  Often, a single pod of 3 soldiers is not enough to conquer a planet, whereas in most cases six seems to be enough.  

The AI should escort its troop transports.  Several times the AI sent slow (one engine) unescorted troop transports towards my planets and I wiped them out easily.

Like I already mentioned above, the AI should garrison its planets with ships to deter invasions.

Other general comments….

Regarding the Player Achievement buildings of which only one per Player is allowed, the AI seems to be able to build multiple instances of them. For example, an AI planet might have three (3) Citadels of Revenue and another planet might have two (2) Manufacturing Capitals.  

The Benevolent Ideological Trait ‘’Enticing’’ (Prominence III) does not flip starbases. When I selected that trait, none of the AI starbases within my cultural sphere of influence converted to my ownership.

I read in several places on the forums that the Shield Punch technology does not work.  I have not verified this myself but if it is an issue then maybe it could be fixed in the next patch.

The functionality for a Player to partially automate starbase modules construction was released in a prior patch IIRC.  The procedure is that the Player would click on the starbase and select the desired module, whereby an order would be placed at a shipyard for a constructor, then the constructor would be built and would travel to the starbase and build the requested module.  This is great and was meant to reduce tedious starbase micromanagement.  However, when I try to upgrade my starbases, it seems like the constructors are being sent with only a single construction module, and since they were moving very slowly I assume they had only one, obsolete engine.  The Star Trek mod by Horemvore handles constructors very well because they move fast and carry multiple construction modules.

on Dec 02, 2016


I suppose that was an exploit to be corrected, but the fix and gone too far and upgrades are now too costly.

I've felt upgrades for the most part have been too costly as I rarely upgrade my ships in the game just not worth it.  When I have manufacturing planets that can bump out the best ship I can build in 1-3 turns or upgrade a run down ship many tech upgrades behind for 13k credits, I'll scrap it and go with new every time.  This was in the old and new versions though... 


However, when I try to upgrade my starbases, it seems like the constructors are being sent with only a single construction module, and since they were moving very slowly I assume they had only one, obsolete engine. 

In the star base screen you can toggle which constructor you want the star base to auto order.  This will only apply to future modules in which you que up.  You can also click on the star-circle thing at the end and have it auto change all star bases to match your current selection.  Hope this helps.

on Dec 02, 2016

I feel that the cost of 'upgrading' ships is too high. I also think this is something that hurts the ai. 

Using Civ VI as an example, the ai there did not upgrade due to costs or lack of resources (iron for swordsman). The cost was adjusted down and the resource requirement was lowered to needing just one. This allowed the ai in Civ VI to upgrade its units (most of the time). 

I am not sure if it would help here but it surely cannot hurt to lower the upgrade cost across the board. 

We also need a system like we did in GCII where we can upgrade all our fleets at a various cost strung out over many many turns so we do not have to go bankrupt doing so. 

on Dec 02, 2016


I think there is some disparity, as I am noticing certain AI factions like the Thalens or Arcaens consistently underperforming in all of my games, but the factions like Drengin seeming to explode in power. I cannot put my thumb on the exactly what causes this, but I'm starting to believe that there may need to be some more balancing needed. 
Hmm two things about this:

- power rating is very easily dominated by fleets. In my first test round I had about 500 points (~turn 120) when an AI declared war on me. It increased to 1300 with the first two ships I built. Granted, they had singularity drivers and all kinetic boosters and fleet boosters.

- Some factions seem stornger than others simply due to fleet value. In otehr cases it is, that the generalist AI, doesn't work well for them. For Thalans in particular it is devastating, since the thalan AIs use of hives is abyssmal. The balance on the non-custom factions (safe for yor) is actually reasonably well. The Thalans can totally compete with some tweaks to the AI.


Maybe research buildings are overpowered and should be toned down because the human probably makes better use of them than the AI does. Or maybe the Player should only be allowed to discover a maximum of one tech per turn. Excess research over the cost of the current tech being researched would still carry over towards the next tech in the tech tree, but the carryover would be capped at 99% of the cost of the next tech.
Just wanted to voice, that I dislike either of the ideas. If anything, I would want to be able to use all my carry-over research at once. The current planning for good carry-over-research-use is just obnoxious. And reducing benefits from research buildings will only make the game more dull, since it will make the choice for or against them will be less consequential.

They allready have everything they need in the engine:

    <!--Each time you research a tech in any tree the cost of all techs are raised by this exponent-->
    <!--Each time you research a tech in any tree all techs cost is increesed by this multipyer.-->
    <!--These values allow us to further inflate techs on a per tree basis, this is to discourage the
    player from drilling down a single branch of the tree too quickly, and over specializing.
    I have removed the exponent, and have only a small multiplier, since it is added to the overall inflation settings.-->
    <!--These are used to make sure specializations in same branch inflate each time once is chosen.
    Since we have moved to making specializations expulsive, I have flattened these values to nothing.-->

From the GalCiv3GlobalDefs.xml
Make the research pacing settings change those values. Use the current values for fast or faster and this will be fine.

on Dec 02, 2016

Started a new game to see what changes the update to the opt-in added. Research speed seems better now, but I have few planets due to playing with rare planet setting. I will see how it goes.

on Dec 03, 2016

One observation: I play a new game with anomalies on "uncommon" or "rare" (can't remember, where can you see this when game has started?) and haven't found a single one 125 turns into the game ...

on Dec 03, 2016

Observation III on 1.9 SP game...

  • General Gameplay
    • Starting to see some planetary defense by turn 100 with some AI, however two declared war prior to having this capability.
    • Manufacturing seems a bit low most quality ships are taking 20+ turns to build, however, before was way too high.
    • Is the administration thing in the game yet for star bases?  Don't seem to have any issue building star bases to this point.  Several are starting to pop around my planets (by me).
    • AI still not building star bases and has no interest in Relics, I'm getting them all, bonus for me
    • All 3 AI's have declared war with me when they were #1 in military power on my list of players.
    • All 3 AI's are right next to each other on my border.  (Easy to defend and attack as I don't need to split my resources.)
    • Still Double power ranking of any other AI I've met, however, only have met about 10% of the factions so far.  (Again Normal difficulty so that could be part of it.)

To be cont...

on Dec 03, 2016



      • Is the administration thing in the game yet for star bases?  Don't seem to have any issue building star bases to this point.  Several are starting to pop around my planets (by me).


Nah, admin has not been implemented yet. In the second update for the opt-in P.Shaw said they reset the starbase spacing until they implement admin.


Great observations! I also noticed the AI ignoring relics.