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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  PC/Console Gaming  |  But is it Fun?  |  Topic: Sword of the Stars - Kerberos Productions Inc. - PC 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Sword of the Stars - Kerberos Productions Inc. - PC  (Read 21972 times)
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


on: June 18, 2009, 07:48:54 AM

This 4X game has gone through quite a ride. I tried it out when the base game was released and frankly, it sucked. Since then, it's been through Three(!) different companies and development studios and has picked up three expansion packs, the most recent being "Argos Naval Yard", released yesterday. I have not put a lot of time into the expansion and the new techs it adds, but that scarcely matters.

This game is the spiritual successor to MOO1. I say MOO1 and not MOO2 because like MOO1, it focuses less on planetary structure optimization and more on overall economic strategy, research, ship design and fleet combat. Economic strategy and research are a few planetary sliders that you rarely touch and one overall one that you adjust almost every turn (Savings<---->Research). Ship design is simple but deep, relying on 3 different ship sections (Command, Mission, Propulsion), and 4 different weapon mounts (small, medium, large, special) which gain expanded options through a MOO/CIV-like research tech-tree. Ship combat is realtime (sped up or slowed down) and is coined "2.5D", which is to say it's full 3d but your ships maneuver on a 2d plane. It looks very reminiscent of homeworld, which is unsurprising since many of the homeworld developers worked on the game.

Like all good 4X games, it also contains a powerful time dialation ability. Start after work or dinner, play a few turns, and it's 10pm. Play just a few more and all of a sudden it's 2am. The AI is resourceful and inventive and it is fairly quick to counter your tech advantage. Put all your research in missiles or drone swarms? After a few fights you'll start seeing ships with point defenses. Relying on fixed-mount beam weapons? You'll start to find yourself up against the ballistic tree, where weapons knock your ships around and ruin their firing arcs. The game tech tree is too deep for a simple rock-paper-scissors counter, but you can find your "unstoppable killing fleet" is anything but - by the time your ships hew your way through the enemy, pushing them back to just a few core worlds, you can find your odds diminishing rapidly - if you did nothing but mash the NEXT TURN button while you destroyed their empire, you might find yourself without enough ships on the front lines to finish the job.

Unfortunately, this game is anything but simplistic. There's a bewildering number of tech options and research paths, some of which you may not be able to unlock every game (% chance) which means you'll need gradually learn them all, or at least a few key ones when you find your tech tree cut off by random chance. The manual for the game isn't very good. The AI is hilariously brutal on hard and fairly daunting on normal for your first few games. Each race (there are 6) plays COMPLETELY differently, as they get different chances for different things in the tech tree, a completely different way of moving through the galaxy, and require a different playstyle to succeed.

Since the expansion pack came out, you can get it, the base game, and all the previous expansions in a complete pack on steam through this weekend for $16. This is an absolute fucking steal if you liked any 4X games at all and is still worth it even if you just play on easy and just want to watch the pretty lights during combat. There's a demo if you wanted to see it but again, $16.

Buy it. (On steam. Right now. Deal ends this weekend)
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 03:28:53 AM by schild »
Murgos
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Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 10:32:23 AM

Thanks bhodi, can you talk a bit about how it stacks up to GalCiv II?

edit:  Or, maybe an active forum where people are discussing the pros/cons of the game?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 10:52:24 AM by Murgos »

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Kitsune
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Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 10:53:10 AM

I played the demo for the game when it first came out, and it blew pretty hard.  It felt, for lack of a better term, like they'd consoled the game to death, omitting most of the depth that 4X space games take for granted.  The tech tree was generic and fairly small, there wasn't much of anything to planets aside from a slider to choose how much money was going into research, the whole thing just felt shallow.

The fact that the developer turned into a rampaging douche who accused reviewers of being bribed by Stardock to smear his game (despite GalCiv's turn-based strategy being a completely different genre from their RTS and not really being a competitor) didn't help.

I wound up completely writing off SotS just after its launch as a result of those two things.  I hadn't even known that it had expansion packs.  I did notice that it was being sold by Stardock on their Impulse system, which made me giggle a lot inside at the irony, but that's the extent of it.
Murgos
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Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 11:01:46 AM

Hmm, RTS and not turn-based?

Well, then how does it stack up to Sins of a Solar Empire?

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 11:06:19 AM

Sure! And yes, this game was horrible when it was first released, I played it for 10 minutes than said fuck it. I decided to get it on a whim after hearing of it's multiple overhauls and I'm really glad I had. The latest developer has really shaped it up into a fine game. The dev company who first created it got bought out, and then THEY went out of business, too.

Ship construction:
Less cool if you like to play ship dress up. No extraneous fins and stuff in the design stage. It's also much more streamlined than GalCiv II. 3 ship sections, optional extras on each section that you unlock with tech (like specalized armor vs lasers and such) that add to ship cost. Ship looks are fixed by race, each race has it's own different look. Tech tree is much 'broader' and somewhat slower paced so you aren't designing new ships every two or three turns when you unlock some new engine upgrade like in GalCivII. Ship construction from a tactical standpoint is a LOT more involved, since each turret has a firing arc and you can mix and match depending on what you want. It isn't straight X beam damage, X missile damage. There are only 3 'classes' of ship - destroyer, cruiser, dreadnought.

Ship Combat:
A lot more tactical. You actually control the ships, unlike GalCiv II. You can set 'stances' to groups of ships (keep at range, come in close, persue) and they are fairly smart about wiggling around to use all their ships firing arcs or staying on target if you set stances. Otherwise you can control them manually (I generally set stances based on ship class, snipers in the bank are keep at range, everything else is come in close, and when the enemy starts getting small, persue ensures that my ships will follow them wherever they go). You can use tactics to overcome a weaker force, or at least prolong the combat. Combat is actually divided into X minutes (4 is default) where if not all ships are killed, round is a draw and it continues into the next turn. Most large fights take multiple turns and you can repair your damaged ships in between fights. You field as many ships as you have 'management points' for, added from tech and by having a field command C&C ship in the fleet, so when one of your ships is destroyed one warps in nearby from your reinforcement pool.

Tech:
There are about 4x as many techs, but the base is much, MUCH broader. tech tree image. Numbers are percentages for each race to gain that tech. There are a lot of 'core' tech abilities, especially early on, but your combat-like techs can sometimes force you to make unorthodox choices or try a theory you haven't tried before. Tech tree looks confusing and cluttered as fuck but realize that a lot of those links you'll never see and short games you won't see anything in the purple zone (antimatter tech), you will be fission for most of the game and fusion near the end.

For example, in one of my games I unlocked 'spinal mounts' which lets you fit heavy fixed weapons onto destroyers (taking up most of the small turret slots). I put a nice beam I had unlocked in there. Unfortuntaely I found it wasn't all that useful versus the destroyers I was fighting as they had trouble actually keeping their nose pointed at the targets. I suspect it'd be a lot more useful versus cruisers or larger, throw mass numbers of cheap destroyers with spinal mount guns at them.

Colonies:
Much less micromanagement for colonies. You don't build any structures. They grow in population on their own, you can do things like overharvest which increases their output but decreases resources leading to less output later. There are also a lot more planets and thus you aren't TOTALLY screwed if you fail to colonize one planet, even small to moderate games you'll be having 6-10 colonies. Invasions are done diffferently, you will generally just wipe out their colonies and then found your own, or subvert the local populace. Each race has a (randomly generated per game) habitable choice on a 2000 point scale, and generally want colonies with a number +/- 500 or so (depending on your techs researched, late game you can go as high as 800), so in some cases the planet might not even be habitable for you.

Races:
No custom races. Races are fixed and race differences are shown by preferences in tech tree unlocks and they all have a different method of moving. I didn't detail this in the first post but for example humans use 'node lines' between stars, the hivers have to slowboat a portal-generating ship to a new system, but once it unfolds you can then teleport between all your systems in one turn, morrogi have what you'd consider a 'normal' warp drive but travel time is reduced the more ships you have in your fleet, that kind of thing. It makes for interesting and vastly different gameplay per race. Each race has a host of custom voices, some of which can get annoying.

Campaign:
No campaign, but then GalCivII's campaign mode kind of sucked. All they did was lock down and say you can't research some specific techs. SOTS has a number of "scenarios" somewhat similar to this but they aren't strung out in a campaign.

Starmap:
It's much closer to MOO. Starmaps are actually in 3d with all the movement and viewing confusion that entails. I prefer 'disc' so that it's 'roughly' 2d but some people really like sphere.


To be honest, I thought GalCiv II was "OK". I was really hoping to find a successor to MOO2 which I loved and this is definitely it, unlike GalCiv II which is a decent game in it's own right. If you want to check out some gameplay videos, you can watch this guy play/walk you through a campaign. I wouldn't even listen, just kind of watch it in fast forward with the slider at the bottom and stop at the interesting bits. He's got a ton of videos since that's from a SomethingAwful Let's Play! thread.



Regarding SINS:
It's not really even close. I didn't like SINS, when you sent ships to a star system and they took about 15 minutes to SLOWWWWWLYYY TURNNNNNNNNN and everything was in super real time. SINS was more like a RTS in space than anything else. There aren't any 'hero' ships that lead your fleets, the closest is C&C which is strictly a support vessel which is at the back of your fleet (that you have to defend, since if it's destroyed you can't order your reinforcement and you might have useless tankers warping in instead of your cruisers). I would say that colony management is fairly similer between the two, in that you colonize and then it sort of manages itself. The only options you have are a flat building queue in SOTS.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 11:22:12 AM by bhodi »
Murgos
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Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 11:30:00 AM

Thanks again.

It sounds pretty interesting, especially when you consider how lacking space 4x has been.  For 16 bucks it sounds like a no brainer to check it out.

Also, while googling around I came across their official forums here: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 11:32:08 AM

If you can bear with the guy (just watch it in fast forward, really)

Ship design:
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/6/

Ship combat: (notice the different tactics and weapons in the first versus the following, later combats - he uses 'turn broadside' in the first video to bring firing arcs to bear)
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/9/
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/37/
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/40

Talks about colonies and sliders
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/3/

Random update where you can delve into some enemy intel and some of the combat rock-paper-scissors theory
http://www.viddler.com/explore/Gawaine/videos/33/

Yeah, that's official forums. "official" wiki is here: http://sots.rorschach.net/
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 11:37:23 AM by bhodi »
gryeyes
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Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 12:02:04 PM

Played it when the game was released and it was a unplayable mess, found it disappointing on almost every level. It cant even be called a 4x lite (when i played there was absolutely 0 diplomacy,trading or really anything beyond combat). If you are going for a simplistic 4x Sins of a Solar Empire is far better even tho i also disliked that game. A new developer took over for the expansions Bhodi? I recall the lead dev of Kerberos being a monumental douche to the point where I refused to purchase any of the expansions.
Kitsune
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Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 12:20:53 PM

While I wouldn't calls Sins jump up and down fantastic, it's a solid game.  A lot of its trudging pace has been amended through patches, making the ships far less likely to get into a retarded logjam and less sluggish in maneuvering around.  I haven't gotten the expansion, so don't know what sort of impact it has on the game.
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 12:25:41 PM

Yeah, he's still kind of a douche but he's mellowed quite a bit. He seems to get his jollies mocking idiots on forums. Fortunately, I don't really care what the guy acts like if it makes a good game.

Trading, Diplomacy has been added since it was released, though diplomacy is still one of the game's weaker spots. Generally, it's more of the "Nice Doggie" diplomacy, and there are some races (the hivers) that you almost never ally with. NAPing them is just an invitation for them to deploy the hiver teleport ships over your base so that their inevitable betrayal can cripple all your colonies in one fell swoop. The Liir (space dolphins, they get big tech advantages to beams and have inertialess drives that make their ships agile) are perfectly willing to NAP and ally most of the other races.

Tech trees have been wildly expanded, there's a bit more to do and tweak with colonies (though I tend not to) and a lot of the boring slash rough spots have been smoothed. As I said before, if you played this game when it was released, yes it was an unplayable mess. It's not any longer. If you don't believe me, download the demo. It's missing some of the newer techs but the feel of the game is there.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 12:30:28 PM by bhodi »
Murgos
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Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 12:29:12 PM

While I wouldn't calls Sins jump up and down fantastic, it's a solid game.  A lot of its trudging pace has been amended through patches, making the ships far less likely to get into a retarded logjam and less sluggish in maneuvering around.  I haven't gotten the expansion, so don't know what sort of impact it has on the game.


I have Sins and the expansion.  The expansion is called 'Entrenchment' and that's what it does, it makes defense and turtleing amazingly easy.  The Starbases are very cool and powerful and a well laid mine field can be dangerous.  This does make the AI a bit more difficult at first but in the long run it is still very weak to breaking through it's lines and rampaging around in its rear area.

Sins is good for quickly making huge fleets and slamming them at your enemies.  It really does fit the 4x lite moniker though, I personally feel very little sense of exploration when playing.

GalCivII, for me, was pretty much tedium.  I just have never been able to enjoy it and I actually got some pleasure out of MOO3...

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Montague
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Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 12:50:27 PM

GalCivII, for me, was pretty much tedium.  I just have never been able to enjoy it and I actually got some pleasure out of MOO3...

MOO3 was the first game whose development I seriously followed. I've always wanted to read a post-mortem on that clusterfuck.

When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross - Sinclair Lewis.

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Zane0
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Reply #12 on: June 18, 2009, 12:51:59 PM

SOTS is the best 4X on the market by far. Galciv is immensely tedious and Sins is fundamentally a space RTS (as said). There are some sketchy production values to contend with, and the game is still basically unknown, but this is essentially the spiritual successor to Homeworld/MOO that everyone pines for.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 12:59:55 PM by Zane0 »
gryeyes
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Reply #13 on: June 18, 2009, 01:07:15 PM

How in anyway can you compare SOTS to Homeworld/MOO. Homeworld was fundamentally a "space RTS" the only similarities between SOTS and Homeworld or MOO is that they all involve spaceships. I think its also a huge stretch to call SOTS a 4x in the first place, let alone the best by far.
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #14 on: June 18, 2009, 01:43:50 PM

Because you are still operating under the illusion that the game that you played is the same game that I am talking about. Since I've said it in basically every post, I'll say it again since you've seemed to have missed it - this is a completely different game from when it was released. The combat is VERY similar to homeworld and the similarities that it has with MOO are nearly endless.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 01:46:05 PM by bhodi »
Zane0
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Reply #15 on: June 18, 2009, 01:51:30 PM

There is a simple, utilitarian, eXplore eXpand eXploit eXterminate strategic model at the core of SOTS that is engaging without being too self-involved, much like the sweet, crunchy center of MOO and MOO2 that was originally so compelling -- at least for me. Combat, meanwhile, is a spacey tactical RTS, with zero-gravity tactics, big space weapons, no base building, and a sense of scale as key elements of design -- Homeworld.

SOTS, in not so many words, has a lot to offer to fans of both these core experiences that many other 'successors' have either failed or chosen not to directly recreate (SINS/Galciv2 in my opinion).
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 02:39:31 PM by Zane0 »
gryeyes
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Reply #16 on: June 18, 2009, 02:07:42 PM

Because you are still operating under the illusion that the game that you played is the same game that I am talking about. Since I've said it in basically every post, I'll say it again since you've seemed to have missed it - this is a completely different game from when it was released. The combat is VERY similar to homeworld and the similarities that it has with MOO are nearly endless.

Ummm he listed Sins as being a space RTS as a point of distinction between it and SoTS. And then said its the "spiritual successor" of Homeworld that is also a RTS in space. And no I don't think im operating under any assumptions. I also dont need to play an expansion to know what the core game is and what it compares to. But i will DL the demo and report back.  Heart
Zane0
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Reply #17 on: June 18, 2009, 02:21:56 PM

That's very tricky of you to say, but you should probably note that I objected to Sins originally for its aspiration to the 4X genre.

SOTS is arguably a combination of 4X and RTS as well, true, but it separates the two gameplay modes quite clearly, which solidifies the 4X strategic 'wrapper' and allows both genres to breath -- which Sins does not.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 07:20:59 PM by Zane0 »
Morfiend
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wants a greif tittle


Reply #18 on: June 18, 2009, 05:40:18 PM

Having skimmed the thread, let me ask: Is there any multiplayer?
FatuousTwat
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Reply #19 on: June 18, 2009, 05:50:04 PM

The thing that turned me off about SOTS was the combat, and the fact that there seemed to be no tutorial for it.

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
bhodi
Moderator
Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #20 on: June 18, 2009, 08:10:08 PM

Having skimmed the thread, let me ask: Is there any multiplayer?
Yes. It's actually part of the core of the game, but as I'm deathly afraid of getting pounded on by an experienced person, I tend to perfer single player games.

RE: Tutorial. Yes, there isn't much of one; I got what I needed to know from experimentation and reading the wiki. I'll restart a dozen times until I get something right, so that doesn't bother me a whole lot. The combat videos linked off the wiki help.
Murgos
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Reply #21 on: June 18, 2009, 09:56:59 PM

Took the plunge and picked it up, this guys game report helped tip the scales: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11427

I put in about 3 hours in which I restarted 3 times as I figured out what was going on.  A word of warning to newbies, don't pick the cloud pattern star system to start in.  So far I'm enjoying it even if the only combat I have seen has been watching my recon destroyers get mauled by weird special encounter thingies. 

Despite all the bad press MOO3 got I would say this game more similar to that then to MOO1 or 2 (cept, of course for all the bugs).  Simplified strategic options with a real time fleet based tactical combat component.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #22 on: June 19, 2009, 08:42:31 AM

If you're new at the game, here are a few tips to get you on your feet fast:

Number of star systems per side when you pick your desired size - roughly half will be habitable eventually, 1/4th will be habitable at start of game
Small game = 10, Medium game = 20, Long game = 30, Epic game = 40, anything more and it'll take forever

If you want just a small quick game to learn the ropes, I suggest a 25 star barbell w/ 2 players, you and one computer on normal mode. The small barbell lets you get a feel for 3d starmap without making it utterly confusing. Disc is also good. Be aware that 2d fucks humans over good due to limited line connections. Don't play Hivers or Zuul. Everything in this post is wrong for them.

Turn random encounters OFF. Nothing will piss you off more than a von newman attack on the 15th turn after you've got a colony founded. They went with a "Space is DANGEROUS" theme and the attacks are basically to remind you that your rear area planets need a bit of defense, too. Later, you can scale it up. I like leaving it at 50% personally.

Your basic early game strategy is expand expand expand. Build scouts (extended range, or ER destroyers) and send them off to nearby planets. Build a few tankers and send them farther out with the expectation that your scouts will rendezvous with them before they are out of fuel.

Research Gene Modification, then Suspended Animation, then design a colony ship with the new upgrade. This sends 5x the colonists. Once this is done start pumping out colony ships. Number of colony ships per planet for initial colonization = 1 to start plus about 1 for every 50 Climate Hazard. Minimum. More colony ships are always better but they are only effective after the first few turns of a new colony.

Look for planets <150 hazard to colonize at the start of the game. Obviously, lower is better. Don't colonize anything above 200 if you can avoid it. If you find no planets nearby that meet this criteria, you might want to just restart. Sometimes you get fucked by the RNG. You'll want to colonize as many planets as you can afford - 20-40% of your total expenditures is about the max. Continue colonizing throughout the game.  If "infrastructure" is flashing red that means you don't have the population to use what you started with, so turn the slider all the way to terraform until it's no longer red then split it 50%/50%. It probably will flash red for 5-10 turns initially as your population builds up.

Early game, you want techs that increase production - Waldo units, Cybernetic Interface->Expert systems, You might want recombinant fissionables to increase your range. Remember once you unlock an upgrade you need to design a ship with it. If you're in a small game, you'll want to start looking at weapons, if it's a medium game you can probably go down the biotech tree first, get atmospheric adaption and the very nice biological transfer if it's available.

Green or Ultraviolet lasers are good and you'll be using them forever. Eventually, you'll want point defense (it's in Ballistic after VRF tech). If you're going ballistic, you'll want predictive gunnery in the drone tree to bump your accuracy. I haven't done a ballistic race yet so I can't give advice there.

Cheat sheet for races:
Human - Fast travel. Travel by node lines, can get screwed by RNG pathing. No tech preference. Cheap Dreadnoughts. Engine sections are weaker than other races.
Hivers - "Bugs" - Travel by stargates, have to slowboat them out. Explosive population. +Bio tech, -movement tech. Tough ships, good armor.
Tarkas - "Warrior Lizards" - Travel is A->B no frills. Slower travel than most. Advantages in speed and weaponry. Good cruisers, prefer knife-fight distances. Good for starting players.
Liir - "Space Dolphins" - Travel is A->B but slows down around stars. Advantages in most tech but especially biotech. Weak armored ships. Played as expand, then turtle, tech up, conquer.
Zuul - "Slavers" - Travel similar to humans but lines degrade over time. Played like a plague of locusts, set all planets to overharvest and expand outward. Core worlds will be desolate, but you will always be moving.
Morrugi - "Birds" - Travel A->B but faster with a bigger fleet and a specalized gravboat ship. Tech second only to Liir. Prefer drones and lasers and anything with 'grav' in it. Have really nasty cruiser configurations but ships are weaker armored overall. Gets huge trade and economic advantages. This is my chosen race. Played as expand, empire up, tech up, conquer with your unstoppable economy.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 08:46:27 AM by bhodi »
Murgos
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Reply #23 on: June 19, 2009, 08:57:58 AM

Sometimes you get fucked by the RNG.  

Human - Fast travel. Travel by node lines, can get screwed by RNG pathing.

This.

First game was in the tutorial, I killed it within 10 turns because I couldn't figure out how to get rid of the help box.  Pro Tip, "For SotS 2 besure to include a comprehensive tutorial."

Second game, spawned a 3 player (2 AI) 60 planet cloud shaped galaxy.  I picked cloud because of the little starting pockets that should allow for a strong defense.  Well, yeah, as a human you are very limited in you exploration paths to start and, whattya know?  The only path out of my starting system has a gigantic derelict ship in it that mauled me in 0.0 seconds.  Started over.

Thrid game was going better, explored everything in my local pocket but only found two semi-inhabitable rocks, one a 280 hazard and the other a 430 hazard.  As a human I had only 1 path from my local pocket to the main cluster area, which was 15 LY away.  Starting tech limits colonizers and tanker ships to 9 LY range so, the next system I could get too was 75 turns away for anything without the long range mission module.  I stuck it out for a while but then decided I was going to be so far behind my competition that I abandoned that game and went to bed.  I'm sure someone with more experience might have relished that kind of a handicap but I didn't feel up to it.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
bhodi
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Posts: 6766

No lie.


Reply #24 on: June 19, 2009, 09:10:50 AM

Yeah, that's why a lot of people recommend you DON'T play humans as your starting. They're real sensitive to galaxy formation. Having little pockets doesn't stop anyone but other humans and zuul since every other race can just get a whole bunch of tankers in their fleet and long haul it past choke points. I'd try disk next time if you are dead set on playing humans.

I really like Morrigi since it fits my playstyle of economic warfare. Liir are for those people who always played the mentat/research race and prefer tech victories. Tarkas are your sort of expand and conquer through military victory race. I would really pick one of those 3 to start since you aren't gimped with the node line shit. I really wanted to like humans but the node lines are just too gimpy on small maps that aren't spheres.

The wiki goes into a ton more detail on each race and has suggested starting strategies for each.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 09:18:43 AM by bhodi »
Morfiend
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Reply #25 on: June 19, 2009, 01:12:47 PM

I am trying to decide if I should buy this. I really feel like a good space sim type game, but just reading that stuff has me feeling overwhelmed already. I have never been a huge fan of complicated strategy games. Would I enjoy this casually, and how is the coop? If a friend and I buy this will we have fun just fucking around with it?
schild
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Reply #26 on: June 19, 2009, 01:13:28 PM

I don't believe you can "just fuck around" with a Sword of the Stars game. 4x space-sims aren't that great for casual play, sadly.
gryeyes
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Reply #27 on: June 19, 2009, 01:29:17 PM

I am trying to decide if I should buy this. I really feel like a good space sim type game, but just reading that stuff has me feeling overwhelmed already. I have never been a huge fan of complicated strategy games. Would I enjoy this casually, and how is the coop? If a friend and I buy this will we have fun just fucking around with it?

Its extremely simplistic, you wont feel overwhelmed. You don't have to actively manage your colonies or do much of anything besides making more colonies,researching tech and producing ships. And each of those things is a press of a button or two.
The UI is pretty awful but once you get passed that its easy to understand. Galciv/MoO is an order of magnitude more complex as a point of comparison. Documentation in the game is very sparse so you will have to figure out most of it on your own or use the wiki tho.
Zane0
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Reply #28 on: June 19, 2009, 01:35:03 PM

It will take you maybe an hour or three to grok all the basic mechanics of getting your empire off the ground, as well as understanding the tactical and strategic user interface. The game's biggest weakness is that it is not immediately intuitive. But after the initial learning period, the game will immediately strike you as both very simple and very fast for the genre.
Murgos
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Reply #29 on: June 19, 2009, 02:00:01 PM

Its extremely simplistic, you wont feel overwhelmed. You don't have to actively manage your colonies or do much of anything besides making more colonies,researching tech and producing ships. And each of those things is a press of a button or two.
The UI is pretty awful but once you get passed that its easy to understand. Galciv/MoO is an order of magnitude more complex as a point of comparison. Documentation in the game is very sparse so you will have to figure out most of it on your own or use the wiki tho.

Colony management is extremely simplified.  Personally, that's a plus.  One of the things I hated about the older games was being trapped in the minutia of trying to direct tens of planets along the same upgrade path, again and again and again.

As far as the, 'you don't do much of anything except make more colonies, research tech and produce ships' comment goes I'm lost since that the premise of every space 4x ever made.

The UI isn't amazing but everything is pretty straight forward.  Click system to see stats and fleets in orbit.  Click fleets in transit to see stats.  Click research button to see research.  Click unresearched tech to start researching tech.  Etc...  pretty vanilla but not hard.  About the only thing I don't like is having to select a fleet and then select move to get the move cursor.  If you have the fleet selected you should probably be in move by default.

In game documentation is pretty minimal, that said all the research stuff tells you what it is and what it effects with a popup and all the ship components display a description of what they do if you toggle it on.  There is enough info there for you to make a decision with.

For 16 bucks I'm happy with it.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
gryeyes
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Reply #30 on: June 19, 2009, 02:21:19 PM

What are you trying to argue exactly? I was explaining the game in relation to other 4x's. I refrained from further shitting on the game since everyone in the thread seems to enjoy it. If you enjoy simplistic 4x ultra lites more power to ya!
Lantyssa
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Reply #31 on: June 19, 2009, 02:53:24 PM

Has there been anything decent that focuses more on exploration and colony management with combat actually taking a back seat?

Although I played a ton of MOO2, it was the expansion possibilities in MOO1 that really held my interest.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
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Reply #32 on: June 19, 2009, 02:59:26 PM

A lot of 4X games let you designate AI control of planetary infrastructure to free you from the, 'Okay, I got a new planet, time to build three factories, four labs, a spaceport, defenses, marines, plushie vending machines, suicide booths...'  You just set up a pre-defined building order, then tell the computer, "This is a research planet." and it plops down the buildings you specified.  Definite tedium reducer that a player should seek out whenever possible.

I really don't get the anti-Galciv II sentiment; it easily rivals MOO2 at this point.  The few things it lacks (tactical ship combat, leaders, stellar converters) are definitely balanced by greater depth in techs, espionage, and resource control.  Plus it's much prettier.  Not that I don't love making phase-cloaked doom stars with weapons that ignore shields and armor and blowing up whole fleets with single ships, but every game of MOO2 winds up pretty much playing out identically.  Admittedly, this requires the expansion packs for GC2 to have goodies like unique racial abilities and tech trees, but it's very worth it.  A lot of GalCiv's parameters can be customized by the player when making a new game, too, letting you fine-tune stuff to fit your desires.
gryeyes
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Reply #33 on: June 19, 2009, 03:42:17 PM

Has there been anything decent that focuses more on exploration and colony management with combat actually taking a back seat?

Nothing recent as far as I am aware. Last game i recall along those lines was Outpost 1-2.

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I really don't get the anti-Galciv II sentiment; it easily rivals MOO2 at this point.

The developer of SoTS ferments it with his bitter tears.
Morfiend
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Reply #34 on: June 19, 2009, 06:18:48 PM

I bought it. It was only $15. Lets hope I enjoy it.
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