Galactic Civilizations III: Ascension

Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2019 By Derek Paxton

GalCiv3 has come a long way since release. It has added governments, mercenaries, citizens, thousands of free to download ships and factions to play as and more tools to manage your growing empire. I sat down to play some today with the 3.8 patch and decided to have some fun.

One of the new features in 3.8 is the Galactic Ascension Status. So I wanted to play a game where I pursued an Ascension victory. I picked the Altarian's since they get a boost from Precursor Artifacts, I set my universe to Huge with 20 other factions in it and divided us up onto 7 teams with 3 members on each team so I would have some allies to deal with. I also increased the amount of Precursor Artifacts and Ascension Crystals in the universe to make fighting for them more interesting.

I like playing with teams in GC3. It means that even from turn 1 I already have allies out there.

I have an Echoing Heartstone artifact n my homeworld. If I upgrade it I can unlock charges I can use to dramatically boost the influence on a planet. That will be very helpful since it is going to be a crowded galaxy with 21 factions on a huge map. My strategy is all set, explore the galaxy, find artifacts and ascension crystals and lock them down before other players get to them. Help my allies when needed and try to avoid war.

I've always loved the look of the Altarian ships. And my plan was going well until I encountered this planet:

A class 12 planet, but I need Xeno Adaption to be able to colonize it. In most games this wouldn't cause me to abandon my strategy, but in a galaxy with 21 other factions (and I didn't boost the default amount of habitable planets) a class 12 planet is gold. So I abandon teching towards Ascendancy upgrades and switch to Planetary techs (so I can get to Xeno Adapation before someone else grabs the planet.

My plan works and I pick up some extra planets and start a Galactic Government. I tend to be benevolent, my planets aren't overcrowded and my people have low expectations so my approval remains high and my people like me.

But focusing on planets means that other players beginning to grab all those Ascension Crystals. And here we see the new UI that makes this all very apparent.

The Iconians have already claimed 5 and the Mu'Kay are 654 turns away form an Ascension victory if they do nothing else between now and then (and they will do things to increase that rate). I'm going to need to start some wars either trade, culture or military if I want to turn this around.

Wish me luck!

The continued refinement of Galactic Civilizations III

Posted on Thursday, August 8, 2019 By Frogboy


Thanks to you guys continuing to buy our DLC we are able to keep developing Galactic Civilizations III with new features and improvements.

The last few updates have been focusing heavily on quality of life and the latest version, v3.8 continues that trend.  Below are some of features we've recently added that we hope you find useful.

Adjust difficulty mid-game

Finding yourself doing really well mid game or struggling more than you thought?


Under the options->Gameplay you can now adjust difficulty on the fly and it will update the AI's accordingly!

UI Cleanup

We don't necessarily respond to every post (or even most) but we do read them.  So many of our updates are pretty minor. A text change here. A font tweak there.  Here are a few examples:


We now display a little more information about ships than we used to.  For example, tactical speed is now displayed.


More information, such as research, is displayed in the planet list.


Capturing Ascension crystals now makes it clear how long it will take players to win through that means.


The shipyard list displays how much production is going to it.


This is hard to quantify but we have been going through the game making small text changes as well as making sure the default ships from every species has a colorful name rather than simply the ship class.


Also a better use of fonts to better emphasize who is speaking and what options are.


The work continues

We are keen on hearing your thoughts! We hope you like what we've been doing!

Galactic Civilizations Summer 2019

Posted on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 By Frogboy

We're putting the touches on v3.8.  From here on out, a lot of our effort is going to be on features that improve the game experience, polish and usability.  They're not sexy features but they're much needed imo.

Starting with 3.6, we began work on improving the modding experience.  This is something that's been being further developed in 3.8 and will get more attention after as we try to "unify" the experience further so that people can eventually pass around mods and know they'll "just work".  

We still have the general challenge in that you have Crusade and "base" GalCiv III v1.x.   Crusade changes the economic system to a citizen based system so that's a big challenge in reconciling in terms of mods.

There won't be any more expansions for GalCiv III.  Future gameplay improvements will be made to the Cruade base (i.e. as long as you have Crusade these will work).   But we do have new DLC coming over the coming year.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here. Cheers!

Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution Journal #9 - Campaign

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019 By Frogboy


The new version of Galactic Civilizations III includes an updated campaign screen that shows the campaigns as part of a timeline. We wanted to help players know where different campaigns take place in the overall story.

It's hard to believe that the base GalCiv III campaign, Crusade, actually takes place in the middle of the stories that were released for GalCiv III!

Our story so far...

During the campaigns of Galactic Civilizations II, the story ends with the human main fleet teleporting to a pocket universe, but not before using a Precursor (Arnorian) artifact to protect the Earth from Drengin invasion.

Galactic Civilizations III deals with the fleet's return from the pocket universe with a new artifact. A powerful orb known as "the bane" that was a weapon used by the Mithrilar (the beings who created the Arnor in the first place). The Terran fleet, armed with Precursor technologies, swiftly frees the people of Earth, who have been busy building their own fleet behind their protective shield.

The humans go on a crusade to free the other civilizations from Drengin thralldom. Their campaign to free the galaxy starts to turn dark as the Thalan, a species introduced in GalCiv I, explain that they are travelers from an alternate future and that the bane exacts a terrible price for its use (which is why it was hidden in a pocket universe in the first place). The bane's user will begin to lose all manner of perspective, which will lead to the destruction of the galaxy.

Retribution is at hand

The Retribution campaign is a 4-part campaign. I will say, at the start, that Galactic Civilizations, being a space sandbox game, doesn't lend itself to story-based campaigns. I generally don't recommend that people play the campaigns until they are done playing the main game (as opposed to the other way around). The campaigns exist to help players know the lore for the world in which the game takes place.

With that warning said, let us begin destroying the universe.

Into the fire

The campaign introduces (or reintroduces) players to the Drath and Korath, who were both eliminated as major powers during Twilight of the Arnor and Dark Avatar, respectively, in Galactic Civilizations II. 

This campaign is the conclusion of the 23rd century era of Galactic Civilizations stories. While I won't promise you'll love the campaign gameplay (they're not my cup of tea), I hope you enjoy the story they tell.


Retribution Journals

Journal #1

Journal #2

Journal #3

Journal #4

Journal #5

Journal #6

Journal #7

Journal #8

Journal #9 (Current)

Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution Journal #8 - The Drath

Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2019 By Frogboy

The Drath were first introduced in Galactic Civilizations II. But, the lore behind them was developed in the 1990s during the stories that would ultimately serve as the game's underpinnings.


Long ago, the Drath shared their world with the Altarians. They are, in effect, sentient dragons. They are very large, over 4 meters tall.  Physically the strongest of any civilization in the game, they actually have evolved into a subtle and cunning species since they were taken from Altaria by the last Mithrilar thousands of years ago, and placed on their own home world.

You might expect that a species as physically powerful as the Drath would become a race of warriors, but the sheer damage that any violence between their would cause resulted in the species developing in a very different direction. Their unique trait, war profiteering, is, with some irony, the result of their own culture's attempt to discourage infighting. That is, if two Drath clans were battling it out, it was well understood that other clans would economically profit from the war, thus making obvious that those Drath who chose violence would be economically deprived.

Once the Drath gained access to faster-than-light travel via Hyperdrive, they naturally took advantage of the galaxy's turmoil. The Drath, in short, eagerly trade with anyone and everyone they can, and profit greatly from the chaos of interstellar war.


Thousands of years ago, the Mithrilar took the remaining Drath from Altaria and gave them a new world. That world has thrived. It's +1 better than Earth as planets go.


Drath Ships


The style of the Drath is ornate. They are an ancient civilization. While humans have only begun to realize that there are beings from higher-planes of existence, the Drath, of course, have always known of them. Both the Mithrilar and the Arnor (the Precursors) interacted with the Drath directly in ancient times.

Drath Technology

Being an ancient species, they have a handful of unique technologies that other species, like humans, do not have access to.


Probably my favorite is the Precursor Relic Understanding tech.  It gives an early (but significant) boost to precursor relics that are scattered across the galaxy. 


Not surprisingly, the Drath will tend to grab up Precursor relics more so than other civilizations.  This was enough of an issue that we had to modify the Ascension notifications, because the Drath frequently win by Ascension victories. Beware.

Drath in action

The play-style of the Drath focuses on capturing and utilizing the Precursor relics. The most common path to victory for them is to ascend to a higher dimension through Precursor artifacts (this was enough of an issue that we had to beef up the notification system to let you know what they were up to). 

The Drath can get 25% more out of Precursor artifacts than other species.


This screenshot is just because..holy cow! Durantium, Promethion, and Thulium with a single starbase!


Here is an example of where the Ancient ability really comes in handy.  The Precursor Observatory provides +1 for ascension and the Arnorian Relic study gives a 25% bonus.  Any other civilization would only receive 2 total points per turn from this starbase that covers two Ascension relics. But the Drath are getting 5.


Acquiring 5,000 points is not easy of course (would take 1,000 turns at this point!), but if you were to capture a handful of additional Ascension relics and keep going down the Precursor tech tree, a dedicated player could find themselves ascending in less than 200 turns.

The Drath also get a large bonus for trading with civilizations that are at war.  Now, the purpose of this is less about making money and more to encourage a strategy of keeping your enemies busy while you collect ascension points.

Good luck!


Retribution Journals

Journal #1

Journal #2

Journal #3

Journal #4

Journal #5

Journal #6

Journal #7

Journal #8 (Current)

Journal #9 (Coming Soon)


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