Civilization: Beyond Earth introduces a brand new and exciting feature - Affinities. In a highly technological future on an alien planet, humanity is presented with the question 'How do we continue our development? Should we continue to develop our technologies to aid our natural bodies? Or should we start changing our bodies to adapt to new challenges? The answers to these questions are synthesized in Affinities - overarching philosophies on human advancement that shape your entire colony's development throughout the game.
What are Affinities?
Although at first glance Affinities can be likened to Ideologies in Civilization V: Brave New World (for example, other colonies react diplomatically to differing Affinities the way they reacted to differing Ideologies in Civ5), their purpose and effects are in fact very different, as is the way in which you develop them. While the Ideologies were mostly a product of the social development of a civilization, Affinities are a product of a certain way of technological advancement and gameplay choices, and are thus not chosen, but developed.
Most game systems are affected by your affinity levels: buildings, units, satellites, covert operations, etc. Even some strategic resources are the preferred resource to some affinity. This means that Affinities will not only bring you a set of bonuses, but they will literally shape your entire colony, its development and even your strategies!
How do you develop Affinities?
There are two main ways to develop affinities:
- Researching certain technologies. Many leaf technologies are associated with a given affinity; when you research them, you devote your colony to the tech's respective affinity. Note that Affinity progress is measured in affinity points, which scale up as you advance in an Affinity - in other words, advancing from level 1 to level 2 of an affinity takes fewer points than advancing from level 13 to level 14. Thus, technologies researched at different stages of the game will have different effects on your affinity progress. An advanced technology researched early may give your colony two affinity levels, while a basic technology researched late in the game may not give you enough points for even a single level. (although the research order affects your overall progress - different technologies cost different number of Science points!).
- Choosing a certain affinity-aligned goal during a Quest. There are many quests in the game, and some of them will offer you a choice which will affect your affinity progress.
Expeditions also render Affinity points sometimes, especially when they're done in Progenitor Ruins.
With sufficient affinity points, players graduate to the next level of the given affinity, unlocking benefits. Note that there is no limit in how you advance Affinities - you can choose to concentrate on a single Affinity, or you may want to develop all three of them, it's up to you. However, the Affinity in which you have the most levels (starting at level 4) will always be considered the 'Dominant' one, and other players will react to it.
The AI players tend to choose an affinity that's not chosen by their neighboring civilizations, but it is also clear that specific sponsors have no predetermined affinity preference.
The advancement in Affinity levels brings your colony many benefits:
- Affinity special bonus. These are fixed bonuses which activate when you reach certain levels in an Affinity. The last bonus is always related to an Affinity victory condition, such as the ability to build the Mind Flower or Exodus Gate.
- Military unit upgrades. Each level in your primary Affinity will allow you to upgrade a unit type from your army. Starting from level 6, units get affinity-unique looks and features which further deepen the story of the game and customization of your colony.
- Buildings accessible. Many buildings in the game can only be built if you reach a minimum level in a certain Affinity.
- Units accessible. As with buildings, there are affinity-special units, only accessible over a certain level in a certain affinity.
Finally, progressing enough in each Affinity (past level 13) opens the path to Victory. The Harmony affinity allows you to achieve a Transcendence victory, the Purity affinity - a Promised Land victory, and the Supremacy - an Emancipation victory. Note that achieving the minimum level in the selected Affinity doesn't automatically grant you the victory - there are some more things to be done afterwards.
Also note that there are possible Victory types (the Contact and Domination victories) which don't require progression in any specific Affinity. Go for these victories if you don't feel particularly strong for any of the affinities, and want to keep a broad approach to developing your colony.
- Main article: Harmony (CivBE)
Harmony is one of the three affinities in Civilization: Beyond Earth. Instead of changing an alien world to suit them, the followers of this Affinity alter their own DNA with various traits from the local wildlife in order to be able to survive there. Ultimately, most Harmony purists seek to build a biotechnological construct which will, through the use of specialized nanites, eventually link all organisms with brains on the planet into one massive compound intelligence on par with a god. They are able to have alien creatures as units and specialize in rapid movement and the use of the planet's terrain and natural features in their military affairs. Their chosen resource specialization is Xenomass.
Harmony bonuses (Rising Tide)
|2||Trade routes can be made through miasma.|
|5||Each improved Xenomass provides two more resources than normal.|
|8||Units take no damage from Miasma|
|12||+1 from Biowell improvements|
|15||Allows for Harmony to construct the Mind Flower and its Mind Stems in order to prepare for ascension.|
- Main article: Purity (CivBE)
Purity is one of the three affinities in Civilization: Beyond Earth. The Purity affinity desires to preserve and improve upon mankind as they are and seeks to convert the planet into a state similar to Old Earth before the Great Mistake, regardless of what happens to the local wildlife. The ultimate goal of a Purity purist is to eventually resettle much of the Earth's diaspora onto the planet and save that world from overpopulation and resource depletion. Purity military forces concentrate mostly on mechanical exoskeletons, energy weapons, and amphibious attacks, thanks to their armadas of LEV vehicles. Their chosen resource specialization is Floatstone.
Purity bonuses (Rising Tide)
|2||+20% Strength and Ranged Strength when attacking or defending against aliens.|
|5||+1 Energy and +1 Culture from Floatstone|
|8||+2 Energy and +1 Health from Terrascapes|
|12||+1 Food from Dome improvements|
|15||Unlocks the secrets of Warp Gate construction, permitting progress toward the Promised Land victory.|
- Main article: Supremacy (CivBE)
Supremacy is one of the three affinities in Civilization: Beyond Earth. They focus on improving technology and improving themselves with cybernetics in order to be able to survive the harshest of environments on the new planet regardless of outside conditions. The ultimate goal of pure Supremacists is to eventually ascend into a massive digital consciousness and return to Earth in order to free the humans there from their organic bodies and bring about a new age of digital and mechanical immortality. Their resource specialization is Firaxite.
Supremacy bonuses (Rising Tide)
|2||Explorer Units can build an additional expedition|
|5||Orbital Coverage on and next to any tile with Firaxite|
|8||-25% maintenance to units|
|12||+1 Production to nodes|
|15||The secrets of Space-Time warping are unlocked, allowing for the construction of the Emancipation Gate and the eventual enlightening of all mankind.|
With the arrival of the Rising Tide expansion pack, it is now possible to blend two affinities together to gain access to an entirely new set of units which contain a few of the basic strengths of both factions as well as some new traits of their own.
Rising Tide has no hybrid victory conditions, however, Hybrid unit upgrades will always require lower affinity levels than pure tier three upgrades.
Obsessed with purity of form beyond even the most extreme Purity purists, Harmonal Purists use extremely complex genetic technology in order to not merely improve upon man, but to accelerate his evolution into something stronger, more intelligent, and far more capable than his current existence. Harmonal Purist units usually appear very anthropomorphic and "godlike" and are painted in gilded coloring across their entire bodies save for the tell-tale Purist stripe of red.
|2 2||+1 Culture per level of Harmony or Purity|
|5 5||Unhealth from number of cities reduced by 25%|
|8 8||Damaged units heal at least 3 HP per turn|
|10 10||+25% Production towards military units|
Simply put, Puritanical Supremacists are dedicated to the complete and total separation of man from machine and the perfection of both to the highest degree, constructing enormous robotic war machines with A.I.s of animal-level intelligence piloted by men clad in advanced (but not powered) armor. Their unit colors are usually pure white with bluish lighting effects.
|2 2||+2 Energy per level of Purity or Supremacy|
|5 5||Unhealth from global size of population reduced by 25%|
|8 8||+10% Energy and 1 Health for cities with a defending military unit on its tile|
|10 10||+10% Production and +10% Culture for cities in range of a friendly orbital unit|
Willing to sacrifice everything in order to ensure the survival of humankind, Harmonal Supremacists replace so much of their bodies with cybernetic grafts and vat-grown alien tissue that it is almost impossible to tell where the flesh ends, the machine begins, and if the unit was human at all to begin with. Their unit colors are metallic purple with dark indigo lighting and most of their land-based mechanical units resemble the alien species of the planet.
|2 2||+1 Science per level of Supremacy or Harmony|
|5 5||+5 Health|
|8 8||+10% Growth in all Cities|
|10 10||+0.4 Health for every military unit under your command|
|Civilization: Beyond Earth [Edit]|
|Games: Base Beyond Earth • Rising Tide • Starships†|