After the flurry of free updates and game mechanic updates, the Civilization VI team was expected to release more information on their first official expansion for the beloved series. Rise and Fall expansion aims to expand game mechanics even further by duplicating the uneven nature of actual history. Before the English Empire and its first golden age under Queen Elizabeth, there was a well known period known as the Dark Ages. Plagues, diseases, and lost knowledge tormented much of Europe for decades. Despite the grim nature of this era, it gave birth to the Rennaisance period and fortuitous times for the civilizations that endured.
That is one of the key elements of history which Rise and Fall intends to mimic. Currently, players push their civilizations forward through technology, building armies, until late game. This expansion will throw a few monkey wrenches into player’s humdrum upward climb through the ranks. Dark Ages will cripple your civilization, and test the loyalty of your cities, and could crumble your empire’s borders. When your civilization is tested, there are several Dark Ages policies that can be called into effect. There are no details at the moment as to what these policies are, but its effective use can lead to your next era being a bountiful Golden Age–or even the more powerful Heroic Age. These prosperous times allow players to activate “Dedication bonuses”, that benefit your entire empire.
City loyalty will be crucial, as it means that weakened cities can declare their independence or join another player’s empire. Cities can be conquered in this fashion without the use of an army. This is similar to previous Civilization games including the “culture flip” option for conquest. In Rise and Fall, the same idea returns but with more complexity and intrigue. One such new mechanic will be the use of “Governors”. These units can specialize a city, and increase citizen loyalty to your empire. Each Governor has its own unique traits and “personality” and their use will be judicious based on the circumstances available.
Once again, alliances will receive a significant upgrade. AI alliances at the moment are established and maintained simply to prevent surprise attacks. Hopefully, the Civilization team analyzes and makes changes to the current warmongering rating system (whereas, AI players can keep declaring war on you and other civilizations see you as the warmonger for winning). Alliances with other civilizations will have tangible benefits for both. Boosting research, religion, or other areas, the longer the alliance, the possibility to “upgrade” you Alliance with new bonuses comes around.
More details will emerge prior to the launch of Rise and Fall on February 8, 2018. There is also an impressive trailer once again featuring the father/daughter through ages duo seen in the original trailer. Keyh moments like the destruction of the Berlin wall and the Bubonic plague are shown in the trailer (and bears to reason will also be featured in the expansion). Also, more details on the upcoming new features are posted here.