#Eras and Cultures
An Era is an abstract representation of a period of history, and a portion of a Humankind game. It comes with Era Stars, potentially new Resources, and its own set of Technologies and Units. Many gameplay parameters and formulas are also tied to the current Era.
We currently have seven Eras:
- Early Modern
Each player will always have one active Culture in a given Era, except the Neolithic when everyone begins as a wandering Tribe. Once players have achieved enough Era Stars, they can advance to the next Era by evolving into a new Culture or by Transcending with their current Culture.
When you attain enough Era Stars, you will be notified that you can adopt a new Culture. Evolving into a new Culture means you will be rewarded with a new Legacy Trait, Emblematic Quarter and Emblematic Unit. You may also get a new Affinity if the Culture you choose has a different one from your current one.
Adopting a Culture means locking that Culture for other Empires ; they won’t be able to adopt it too if another player has already adopted it.
You can also choose to delay your move to the next Era in order to earn more Era Stars and therefore more Fame. Era Star objectives become harder and harder as Eras go by, so staying in an Era to grab some more Era Stars may be worth it.
A Culture represents the gameplay incarnation of some of Earth’s peoples or civilizations at a given moment in history. In gameplay terms, a Culture is one strand in a player’s evolving civilization. Each Culture always comes with:
- An Affinity : typifying the sphere in which the Culture had achieved mastery, each Culture is associated with one of seven Affinities that each bring a special ability.
- For instance, the Babylonian Culture is a Scientist Culture.
- A Legacy Trait : encapsulating a fundamental essence of the Culture, each Legacy Trait is a unique, passive effect that stays with the civilization through the rest of the game.
- For instance, the Babylonian Legacy Trait is Philosophers of the Wilds, granting them bonus Science for each Technology researched.
- An Emblematic Unit : a unique Unit representative of the Culture; it may be unlocked immediately or have an additional resource or Technology prerequisite.
- For instance, the Babylonian Emblematic Unit is the Ṣābu Ša Qašti, which gets a bonus when standing on friendly Districts.
- An Emblematic Quarter : a unique District representative of the current Culture that can be built once per territory. It is only constructible by the associated Culture but its effects are active as long as the Quarter remains standing.
- For instance, the Babylonian Emblematic Quarter is the Astronomy House, increasing both Food and Science.
In Humankind, each Culture is affiliated to one of seven Affinities. Each comes with a passive bonus and a special ability you can only use while being a Culture with that Affinity. They also grant you more Fame towards their associated Era Star:
- Land Raiser: Builder Cultures can, for each City in their Empire, activate a special mode that causes the City to convert all Science, Money, and surplus Food into Industry for a minimum number of turns.
- Pride: Whenever a new District is built in a Builder Culture’s City, its Stability increases.
- Cultural Blitz: The Aesthete Culture gain the ability to pay Money to overwhelm a Territory with their Cultural Influence and gain some Influence.
- Grace: Regardless of their actual Ideology, an Aesthete Culture is always considered at maximum Ideological Proximity with everyone, easing diplomacy.
- Under One Banner: Expansionist Cultures can, at a cost, use Armies to forcibly annex Territories occupied by another Empire’s Outpost or Administrative Centre; if completed the victim gains a Grievance against the Expansionist.
- Ambition: An Expansionist Culture’s Armies can cross borders no matter the diplomatic situation without getting damaged or blocked. Grievances for trespassing are still generated as normal.
- Land of Plenty: Agrarian empires can use their Influence to trigger migrations with a promise of a better life, stealing population from adjacent Territories.
- Community: Whenever an Agrarian City gains population, its Stability increases.
- Power Investor: Merchant empires can use their Influence to build resource extractors for themselves or others, potentially improving relations.
- Mediation: Merchant Cultures can sell on Resources bought from third parties.
- Collective Minds: Scientist Cultures can, for each City in their Empire, activate a special mode that causes the City to convert all Industry, Money, and surplus Food into Science for a minimum number of turns.
- Foresight: Scientist Cultures are able to unlock technologies from the next technological Era.
- Iron Reserves: Militarist Cultures can raise Militia Armies in any of their Cities, provided they have enough population.
- Vigilance: Militarist Cultures have an increased base War Support value, making it easier for them to wage war.
Emblematic Quarter & Unit
In addition to the Legacy Trait, each Culture is also represented through a unique Emblematic Quarter and Unit. The Emblematic Quarter is a powerful District that can be built in Cities, potentially transforming player strategy around its strength. The Emblematic Unit is an iconic fighting Unit that captures a memorable aspect of the Culture’s military side, often with unique gameplay abilities.
When a player evolves their Culture they lose the ability to create additional Emblematic Quarters of their prior Culture, but they do keep the ones that already exist, helping to mark the Empire’s past in the present. Their Legacy Trait continues to apply however, and they can keep building their previous Emblematic Units until new technologies render them obsolete.
When moving into a new Era, evolving into another Culture is not the only option available. Perhaps you’ve developed a special bond to your current Culture – maybe it’s a fondness for the Emblematic District, or maybe it’s just your Avatar’s clothes – whatever the reason, maintaining your Culture is a completely valid choice.
Changing Era without changing Culture is called Transcendence. You keep your current Affinity and Emblematic Quarter, and to reflect the prestige of such a move on the world stage, every future Fame bonus is granted a 10% boost.
What’s more, this boost is cumulative, so if, for example, you Transcend your Ancient Era Nubians through the Classical Era and into the Medieval Era, you’ll enjoy a +20% boost every time you gain Fame! Who would you like to bring into the future to see how they survive?