This page last updated April 28, 2012.
I recommend playing VEM on a standard size, normal speed, Continents-Plus map with default advanced-game options. Continents Plus comes with the Explorer’s Map Pack and is by far the best map to play Civ 5 on. I recommend dropping down a difficulty from what you’re used to on vanilla.
The settings below are also tested with VEM. Games with different settings might not be as balanced:
- Continents or Pangaea (and their “Plus” versions)
- Small or Standard maps on Normal speed.
- Large maps on Epic speed.
- Default advanced game options.
Important but non-obvious features in the list below are highlighted. Also please check out the Vanilla Bugs list in the Reporting Bugs post. In particular, the only way to detect combat is when the combat animation plays. Avoid things that hide combat animations, like quick combat and strategic view.
CiVUP – Civilization V Unofficial Patch
Click Here for a picture showing some features of CiVUP.
Civup focuses on fixing bugs, improving the interface, and expanding modding tools with minimal gameplay impact. It follows the tradition of unofficial patches like Civ 4 BTS Unaltered Gameplay and the Skyrim Unofficial Patch. Civup is a collaboration of work from 26 mod authors and an incredible community of forumgoers on CivFanatics.com (see credits).
- Small promotion icons display over units to show what promotions they have.
- Attila’s enhanced information on the top bar. Everything on the top bar is clickable.
- Copasetic’s enhanced city banner information.
- Whoward69’s Trade and Citystate tabs on the diplomacy screen.
- CsebMod and Adam Watkins’ Hover Info display extra information on the terrain mouseover tooltip.
- Improved citystate windows, showing information like exports and who’s protecting a citystate.
- Sneaks’ improvements to the City View display.
- Building tooltips automatically created by reading the game data files, removing the need to manually write each one by hand. This is extendible for building attributes added in mods.
- Yields combined into a cohesive set of functions (including culture), with the capability to add, remove, and change most sources of yields in the game.
- Production lists sorted by category, so things added in mods won’t always be at the bottom.
- A lua message logger based on Java’s JUnit for easier debugging.
- Lua events to check players, units, cities or plots at the start or end of each turn. This loops through each 1 time to improve efficiency, removing the need for multiple loops in multiple files.
- Lua events detecting when policies are acquired, buildings constructed or destroyed, and other important events.
- Save & load functions for players, units, and cities.
- Alpaca’s DiploCorner and CustomMission addins.
- Other miscellaneous modding tools.
VEM – Vanilla Enhanced Mod
Very close to vanilla while providing more challenging gameplay decisions, where everything has a useful and interesting purpose. Most balance adjustments in Firaxis patches originated here.
- Opportunities happen throughout history to enhance or reform your empire.
- Better strategic resource placement and unit usage.
- More challenging combat with rewards for combined-arms forces.
- Ships are more important.
- Harder and more rewarding barbarian attacks.
- Balanced the various wonders, specialists, buildings, and units.
- AIs spend gold more intelligently and compete for citystates.
- AIs conduct diplomacy and war more intelligently.
- AIs start with fewer early economic bonuses, and get stronger in the late game.
- A.I. leaders have more distinct personalities.
- Capturing city-states gives an instant bonus equal to 50 turns of alliance.
- Citystates provide a finite supply of food/culture split among the empire’s cities, instead of an unlimited amount.
- Automatic difficulty adjustment built into Open Borders and Research Agreements.
- Each policy tree has multiple paths for different circumstances, instead of a “best path.”
- Commerce and Autocracy trees are much more valuable.
- 6 policy trees required for Utopia, and policy costs lowered slightly to compensate. Everyone can get a few more policies.
- Combat with the Honor tree is more challenging, but more economically rewarding.
- Coastal cities are more valuable.
- Villages (trading posts) are more useful, especially with the Sailing tech.
- Natural wonders are more useful and placed more intelligently.
- Rivers yield gold only when improved.
- Units move slower in Desert and Snow. Several promotions offset this.
- Technological buffs to improvements are more spread out.
- Some citystates appear on mainland on the Continents Plus and Pangaea Plus maps.