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Public Forum => General => Topic started by: Melrax on March 01, 2016, 02:35:21 PM

Title: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on March 01, 2016, 02:35:21 PM
Space 4x games

It's looking like a good year for space 4x games. Unfortunately there are no release dates other than sometime this year.

Stellaris

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxTT258PmNc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRp7T5irXTQ

Developer diary archive (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/stellaris-developer-diary-archive.882950/)

Coming out from my favourite published/developer so it's hard to not get hyped. This is pretty much the only 4x that promises to bring something truly new to the table. It could be hit or miss to be fair as it's so different from all the clones decending from Master of Orion. Distant Worlds is the closest cousin of it but Stellaris will be much more of a game than a galaxy scifi simulator.

Basically they are scavenging mechanics from their previous titles: CK2, EU4. There are no manually fought tactical battles so it's entirely about the strategic part. However, as the game is real time and you can directly control the movement of your fleets inside star systems, there is some tactical aspect similar to EU/CK.

As is typical for Paradox games, you can expect a big focus on the diplomacy game. Wars are fought for specific goals and not just because you decided that you want to conquer everything. You can create federations (Starfleet FTW) or tyrannical empires, manage all kinds of policies like enslaving your robot workers, you can have parts of your empire rebel and break away...

One interesting thing which is hard to say whether it's good or bad is the research. There is no typical Civ style research tree where you do the same 'builds' every game. You are instead semi-randomly given choices between different research advances. You can control the speed of the research and make some techs more likely to appear. There is also no end to the tech development because even if you have researched everything, the game will keep generating improved versions of those techs.

As usual for a Paradox game, you can expect a massive modding effort for every imaginable scifi out there. Star Wars mod team is already being organized and the game isn't even out yet. Star Trek should be especially suitable for a Stellaris mod.

Endless Space 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1nttzQV9I8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24ci5vQ0Snc

Developer diary archive (http://forums.amplitude-studios.com/forumdisplay.php?59-Endless-Space-2)

I wasn't a big fan of Endless Space 1. It seemed too clinical and somehow 'off'. However the developers did mostly a good job on Endless Legend so I have some faith in them. I think this has a pretty good chance at being the next actually-not-shitty turn based 4x.

For some reason, while neither ES1 or 2 have manually controlled battles beyond a simple card game-ish mini game, they still insist on giving you a full display of the battle. It's pretty cool I guess but one might ask: since it has no real effect on the gameplay then why bother spending so much time developing such a system in the first place? It's inevitable you will get tired of these sequences sooner or later and just skip them. Maybe they came up with something to improve it.

Of course all the typical 4x stuff is included... ship designing, diplomacy, trade, economy management etc. I expect quite a deep level of empire management if EL is anything to go by.

What sets it apart from the generic 4x is that they are adding a lot of RPG-ish elements that they also had in Endless Legend. That means heroes that develop like in Heroes of Might and Magic, mini quests and even story arcs for each race.

Master of Orion (4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbsZGGsjNaQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfMv0ADV7wk

I was extremely sceptical ever since the announcement. A reboot developed by a company completely unrelated the original games... published by Wargaming (from World of Tanks to MOO? wtf). Gee, when has this ever gone wrong?

It's out as early access which is really terrible in this case. If the game was ugly, buggy and unoptimized, wouldn't mind at all. My policy on EA games is to only ever buy one if I think the current state of the game is worth playing because more often than not, there won't be any miraculous game changing updates down the road. And IF there are, the game will be long dead by then.

MOO looks and sounds pretty and runs smooth. Doesn't capture the atmosphere of MOO 2 but space 4x hardly ever do these days. The problem is that the game is too damn shallow for a 4x. Tactical turn based combat is replaced by 'smash your fleets together' real time shitfest but that's not the big issue. The real meat of the game, the strategic gameplay part, is just the most generic and bland 4x I've ever seen. There's just nothing that sets it apart from the competition.

The developers have pretty much shown their hand with this EA release. It's fishing for sales from old MOO fans with it's IP while appealing to the new CIV 5 (RIP my respect for review sites - 21.10.2010) crowd by replacing meaningful gameplay with cute graphics and pointless mechanics. Want a 4x that is less focused on microing at empire level and more focused on tactical combat? Sword of the Stars 1 does it better. Want a turn based 4x with a lot of challenge and deep strategy gameplay? There's GalCiv 2.

I'll give this a 25% chance that this will turn out anything but shit down the road.

Other strategy games

Hearts of Iron 4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4Q3AWS97T4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M91JlvGzpY

Developer diary archive (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/hearts-of-iron-iv-developer-diary-archive-live-stream-videos.847266/)

Hype is through the roof. HOI4 is to HOI3 as Gandalf the White was to Saruman... or something. HOI3 dragged my favourite strategy game series down to dark depths of micromanagement hell and brain dead AIs and allowed me to experience the horrors of the eastern front for real in my chair. I still played the shit out of it.

HOI4 is hopefully what HOI3 should have been. A WW2 grand strategy *game* and not a 'hand hold hundreds of your useless divisions across the globe while studying the game files in order to cipher an arcane supply system' simulator.

Basically the changes come down to getting rid of boring micromanagement without dumbing down the game. Also to giving players (and AIs) more freedom for ahistorical outcomes (like United States invading Britain etc).

The game has been plagued by delays because so many complex systems (for simulating air warfare, logistics, navy etc.) have been developed to replaced the wreck that was HOI3. Could also mean that HOI4 ends up being a total mess but it better fucking not.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on March 02, 2016, 01:05:07 PM
Starsector

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAvo3S0MD-o

A one-man eternity project. Developed since 2010 and no end in sight. Imagine Mount & Blade but 2D and in space. Hand down absolutely the best 2D space combat there ever was. It's a crime that there is no multiplayer because this game would be perfect for some kind of competetive team vs team mode at the very least.

The campaign mode where you build up your fleet and roam star systems is just OK for now. Functional but it doesn't wow you. You can pirate, trade, mine, do faction stuff etc etc but it's not the most exciting thing.

There is a dedicated mod community however that does compensate for the slooooooow development.

Rimworld

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5JjfGMZ1rQ

Another slooooow project. It's something between Dwarf Fortress and Prison Architect. A space colony sim where you don't control units directly but give instructions instead. Build a base, grow food, develop technologies, fight off raiders and aliens monsters, watch as crazy shit happens to your colonists and so on.

There is a lot in the game already but the potential is massive. Prison Arctitect looks rather simple by comparison although Rimworld is lightweight compared to DF... but what game isn't. A modding community is active as well.

I'm inclined to wait longer before really getting into the game as a lot of really cool stuff has been promised and I have no doubt this developer will deliver, eventually.

Factorio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR01YdFtWFI

The game's in EA but it might as well as be considered finished and I don't expect any major additions to the game. It's an interesting mix of factory building sim in a scifi setting on a planet with hostile zerg-like aliens. While fighting off the aliens is a necessary part of the game, it's still first and foremost about building an efficient factory as the vanilla game currently stands. There is multiplayer too which is surprising in this type of game. Graphics remind me of old school top-down shooters but the game doesn't look bad at all when it's in motion.

Gameplay is relatively simple but my god, so addicting. Building efficient ore processing facilities and transportation systems with conveyor belts, trains or drones to make your assembly lines work at max speed is incredibly satisfying. Generally, most of your assembly line are built towards creating 'science packs' which go into your labs that you use to research tech. There is a lot to research but once you have everything, it unfortunately means there is no real reason to continue playing.

I think it would be great if the aliens were developed a bit more. Basically the map is littered with alien hives that agro if you go near them. They also attack your base when the pollution from your machines reaches their hives. There is an evolution factor as well that creates bigger and meaner aliens as time goes on and pollution increases.

On default settings the aliens were laughably easy. Next game I set all the alien settings to max and it did offer some challenge. The entire map is basically full of hives. Trying to go in and destroy them looks like a scene from Starship Troopers and even with upgraded weapons and power armor with fusion generators, energy shields and blah blah cool trinkets is still very hard. Until I crafted a tank. So damn OP and too easy to make. Once you clear the nearest hives, the attacks on your base become much easier to handle for your turrets and the aliens rarely if ever expand. It becomes a matter of how hard you want to fuck up the alien pests on the planet. Fortunately this game, too, has a big modding community. There are a lot of alien related mods to try. Also mods for more techs or making research slower and so on.

There is something incredibly cool about aliens suddenly swarming your base at night and your base lights flickering while the alarms go off because the laser turrets are overloading the power grid as they mow down the aliens. Usually it only lasts a few seconds but when it doesn't stop, you become quite concerned. The aliens wrecking your carefully built factory is a nightmare to fix.






Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on March 16, 2016, 06:52:00 PM
From the GDC event.

Stellaris

-10/10 interface
-Animated portraits, that's a first for Paradox. Stylistically everything looks great. Star system view looks perfect. Enough eye candy without cluttering the screen with random effects. Galaxy view could use some work though.
-Race/empire creation is much more detailed than I hoped for.
-Science ships exploring the galaxy in Star Trek style. OMG.
-First contact procedures with other alien races. Holy shit so cool. You don't even know if it's a 'proper' AI race or just some space creatures floating around before you do research.
-Seems like everything in Stellaris is made to create a sense of discovery which is not the case in any 4x since Master of Orion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJYRLFvJVFg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5rmqiyxxjY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go-WHiRqEMg

Hearts of Iron 4

Nothing much new to discover here. Nice stream with the latest build explaining the game though if someone wants to get a better idea of the game.

TWITCH STREAM VOD (https://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive/v/54761881)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMkRSRP1IPY
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on March 31, 2016, 06:23:59 AM
This footage came out just now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkcT3NdArFk
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on March 31, 2016, 01:24:46 PM
Awesome. Saw some stuff that hasn't been shown off before. Surprising that AJ is interested in Stellaris. Looks like there was another video for HOI4 but it was too short and rushed and made the game look like a clusterfuck. :D

I hope he does a similar preview for HOI4 later.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on April 14, 2016, 11:54:45 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Huuacl6oqI

(https://media.giphy.com/media/4DI5ivbMnarWE/giphy.gif)
(https://media.giphy.com/media/vp122eOzO0Hxm/giphy.gif)
(https://media.giphy.com/media/9p3JwPF6SPQXu/giphy.gif)
(https://media.giphy.com/media/rIq6ASPIqo2k0/giphy.gif)
(https://media.giphy.com/media/msKNSs8rmJ5m/giphy.gif)
(http://replygif.net/i/1187.gif)
(https://media.giphy.com/media/ErkSSUvOTBYGs/giphy.gif)

Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on April 15, 2016, 11:15:32 AM
The spoiler section was the best part. :D
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 05, 2016, 10:20:31 PM
There are dozens of streams and 'let's play's up...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TI9tzLD8WQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sN6LQykAdM
(http://i.imgur.com/pYlXITo.png)

Goodguy Paradox livestreams gameplay months before release, before preorders are up and implements good suggestions within days of being requested. Gives out copies to a score of streamers and youtubers and lifts media embargo a week before release so that anyone can see what the game is about. Writes modding tutorials and releases a gfx model convertor before release. Sets the price 20-30€ lower than 99% of the garbage AAA games coming out with a budget of millions and the gameplay depth of peekaboo. Doesn't add anything that affects gameplay to the deluxe editions.

Highlights:
-gene modify your species... KHAAAAAAAN
-conquer and enslave aliens in the name of your God Emperor
-uplift primitive alien species to create even better slaves
-purge alien populations that just won't submit and work in your space Gulag
-create slave and clone armies
-create robot and droid workers...... and robot and droid armies
-create synthetic AI species that definitely won't rebel
-find Earth that has been nuked into a radioactive wasteland and is populated by mutated giant cockroaches
-get steamrolled by invaders from another dimension
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Xaviz on May 06, 2016, 04:37:14 PM
one day I will get into this genre of games... One day.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 06, 2016, 07:40:58 PM
Familiar feeling...

FUCK, I'm not spending the weekend drooling over the streams and youtube videos. No way. Must find some cheapass game to distract me for a day or two. AHHHHHHHH.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 08, 2016, 02:02:39 PM
Time to obsess about modding while I wait. The largest projects going on:

Star Wars (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/star-wars-mod-lets-organise.876144/)
Warhammer 40k (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/warhammer-40k-mod-twilight-of-the-imperium.914524/)
Star Trek (https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?groups/forums/group-forum.932/&id=38)

I was thinking of jumping into the Star Trek project but I had some ideas of my own to try out as well. First is patriarchies/matriarchies but I'm not sure the game allows the implementation I had in mind... not without seeing the game files. It's a thing in Star Trek so why not in Stellaris as well. Second one is a "space UN" which would actually be similar to Civ4's UN mechanic. Voting of sanctions, policies, emancipation of slaves and the like. Pretty excited to try this out because I wrote a voting script for CK2 a few years back which should be easy to adapt to Stellaris.

Also:
(https://embed.gyazo.com/449be18d113c73a7d9500a8c22afe947.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/I3DvxUi.jpg)
(http://cs622527.vk.me/v622527861/ee53/U_v6aIvqjwk.jpg)
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Xaviz on May 09, 2016, 09:32:36 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoAkomMEFQo

yikes
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Xaviz on May 09, 2016, 09:35:43 PM
http://www.pcgamer.com/stellaris-review/
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 09, 2016, 10:14:35 PM
I'm shocked. :P

Every Paradox game since forever has gotten reviews from 60 to 100. People either like them or hate them. Although in IGN's case it's funny and not just because of the memes floating around about it. Here's a list of recent strategy game reviews from IGN:

Civilization V: 9
Total War Rome II: 8.8
Civilization Beyond Earth: 7.9
Sid Meier's Starships: 6.5
Stellaris: 6.3

Anyone who is into the genre could tell you how ridiculous that list is.

The IGN review may or may not be right about the issues but the score might as well as have been pulled out of a hat because the website has no standards for scoring.

If I compare Stellaris to EU4 with years of dlcs, it's not going to be as in-depth yet. Compared to space 4x games from the last 15 years... well I can say that on this reviewer's scale no 4x would go past 6.

This is why I like sites like Rock Paper Shotgun that simply give no scores.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 09, 2016, 10:22:09 PM
Take for example 2 websites that specialize on 4x games:

Explorminate:

TL;DR: Stellaris is an absolute masterpiece, combining the Paradox sensibilities of grand strategy and epic international relations with the best that space 4X has to offer. Those looking to experience a huge range of spectacular encounters, in a seemingly endless galaxy, while feeling like true space emperors, are going to be very, very happy.  The game isn’t perfect, but knowing that it can and will grow almost makes it more of a pleasure to play. Stellaris is a landmark in the genre and we fully expect it to have a lasting impact on the games we play and love.

SpaceSector:

Stellaris is certainly the most immersive 4X and Grand Strategy game I played to date. Also, the gameplay seems solid. However, this is a Paradox game and it uses the trappings of the Grand Strategy genre which I have discussed earlier. However, I find the mix blends well together with the 4X genre. Personally, I think Paradox has hit their mark with Stellaris.

Both reviews touch on the same issues as the IGN review but neither consider it as big a problem as the IGN reviewer.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on May 10, 2016, 10:11:23 AM
I don't know anything about Stellaris yet, other then it looks great. Annie is playing it and we had a great time discovering how all the fucked up alien races can look so cool.

I want to talk about IGN, because I think I know the answer to the mystery! You think IGN is asking the question:
Is this a great game? Is this a solid product?

I believe what they ask is (heck near all gamer magazines at this point):
If an average AMERICAN couch gamer buys this game and plays the first 30 minutes (because attention span of said customer is about that long)... is he gonna have a great time?

Generalization is always bad, but I guess IGN's largest reader base (WITH money to throw) is simply that archetype: american casual gamers.
IGN headquarters are in San Francisco in California, United States.
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ign.com
IGN.com statistics: 42.5% USA, second highest is the UK with 5.9%.

Is Stellaris for this audience? I'm not surprised at the 6 out of 10.

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Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Xaviz on May 10, 2016, 10:25:31 AM
well how about the pcgamer one? every review seems to agree the game is near perfect in the beginning but the pacing comes to a screeching halt in the middle to late portion of the game. plus everyone that rates it highly keep talking about how great this game will eventually become. like what? maybe it's because I don't know much about this genre, but if someone told me that about any other game I would just laugh at them. why would I buy something that could eventually become great? if it isn't now, why rate its potential instead of the game in its current form?

either way I don't particularly care, I just linked the 2 lower rated reviews I saw because they both mentioned the same problems, which usually means there's some truth to it. I understand there are people already incredibly invested in this game long before it was out and wasn't going to let any review, good or bad dictate their what they should or shouldn't buy. but for the rest of us, it's good seeing both sides.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 10, 2016, 11:39:40 AM
It's not unreasonable criticism, most reviews acknowledge it. It's just that the scoring is absurd in the context of other views from the same website and misrepresents the game. I haven't looked at the PCgamer's review as I want to see for myself first although these issues were seen in the streams before release (just got rekt in my first game on hard/ironman). At one point IGN says the AI is too bad, the next he complains because he lost. In the same reviewer's Battlefleet Gothic (he gave it a 7...) review he complains there is too much micro, in the Stellaris review he complains there is too little micro (when one of the main goals of the game was to reduce micro). I think 10/10 reviews similarly misrepresent the game as the game has problems (as did CK2 and EU4 at release). The boring mid game complaint is probably true but at the same time you could have given the same complaint about EU4 and CK2 where you inevitably end up in a situation where you can only stare at the screen while you wait for the AIs change the situation.

I mean really the problem is that the IGN reviewer treated Stellaris as a pure GSG (meaning ridiculous complexity) and compared it to the hallmark of GSG's that is EU4. EU4 has gone through years of complete reworking of core game mechanics not to mention half the depth wasn't there at release. Even more importantly, Stellaris is far more of a 4x which the reviewer obviously doesn't even like. Considering your average IGN audience who might never have played Paradox games or not even other strategy games, is this a reasonable way to review the game? Or should it be put on the same metric as garbage releases like Rome 2 and Starships if the goal of the review is to inform you whether the game is a good purchase or not?

In the end none of this really surprises me. If the game has problems in the release version, it obviously should be called out for it. It's not really a problem for me personally. Paradox will continue the development of the game for years and it's not a case of token patches fixing a bug in some dialogue or a small content dlc as you might expect in AAA games. They will literally rip out mechanics that don't end up working or add completely new aspect to the game. For the next patch they are already implementing features from EU4 that people are missing. Doesn't excuse a poor state of the release product (if true) but it is what it is when you get into Paradox games.

Fact is that Stellaris is a unique game that has no direct counterpart in any game released previously. There has never been a 4x game that allows this type of freedom that let's you play literally as any scifi trope from tv shows or movies. Distant Worlds is the only reasonable comparison and boy would I love to see the IGN reviewer's opinion on that game. It has the same problems that the IGN guy complained about, just hundredfold worse. Yet DW is considered a masterpiece of 4x games.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 10, 2016, 01:12:42 PM
I don't know anything about Stellaris yet, other then it looks great. Annie is playing it and we had a great time discovering how all the fucked up alien races can look so cool.

I want to talk about IGN, because I think I know the answer to the mystery! You think IGN is asking the question:
Is this a great game? Is this a solid product?

I believe what they ask is (heck near all gamer magazines at this point):
If an average AMERICAN couch gamer buys this game and plays the first 30 minutes (because attention span of said customer is about that long)... is he gonna have a great time?

Generalization is always bad, but I guess IGN's largest reader base (WITH money to throw) is simply that archetype: american casual gamers.
IGN headquarters are in San Francisco in California, United States.
http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ign.com
IGN.com statistics: 42.5% USA, second highest is the UK with 5.9%.

Is Stellaris for this audience? I'm not surprised at the 6 out of 10.

It's reaaaally hard to not throw out jokes about IGN getting paid off by publishers. Looking forward to their 10/10 score for No Man's Sky. Sony's got deep pockets, kappa. So does CA apparently because of their 8.8 Rome 2 score. Absolutely broken and a buggy mess at release with shit for gameplay yet it gets a free pass while Stellaris is put below Starships of all the fucking games.

Wasn't expecting you guys to get into Stellaris though which is cool. :D I recommend using the in game browser that goes straight to the wiki for stuff that's not clear in game. Also, turn on the details mapmode from the lower right corner to see stuff on the galaxy map. The hotkeys are also good. Q to focus camera on anything you select, E to toggle system/galaxy view. B to send any fleet to the closest dock so you save energy credits. The soundtrack is really great but it will get repetitive after hours of playing. Then it's time to tune into http://epicmusictime.com/ (http://epicmusictime.com/)!
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on May 10, 2016, 01:14:39 PM
Thing is... he could have gave it a 7.5 which would reflect better to what is written by Melrax. 6.3 is way too low,  barely better then your average worthless game. I just hate IGN, so I'm biased. ^^

They gave Alien: Isolation a fucking 5.9 out of 10 calling it "Mediocre".
http://uk.ign.com/games/alien-isolation/pc-132341

PC Gamer: 93 out of 100 calling it 'The game the Alien series has always deserved.'
http://www.pcgamer.com/alien-isolation-review/

Fuck IGN.

Btw PC Gamer for Stellaris: 70 out of 100
http://www.pcgamer.com/stellaris-review/

There we go.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 10, 2016, 01:48:36 PM
I mean if I wanted to masturbate over scores, there's https://www.reddit.com/r/Stellaris/comments/4ijfh9/review_megathread/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/Stellaris/comments/4ijfh9/review_megathread/) with majority at 9 or more and what reason do I have to believe two reviews with low score over all of these when their reasons could range from ignorance to paid reviews to clickbaiting? And there's 'overwhelmingly positive' score for it on steam which a far better way of actually determining a "score" for any game (but if I wanted to play the devil's advocate, I'd also point out that most of those reviews haven't played the game long enough for a proper review). Really I wish scores would just die out.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 11, 2016, 01:00:27 AM
Alright, so having played 20 hours and having read the PCgamer review, I can say the criticism isn't wrong really. But again I have to wonder what he would say about a campaign of EU4 where you stare at the screen as 50 years roll by with your hands tied by AIs making super alliances cockblocking your every move. What about a campaign of CK2 which even after 4 years of DLCs it still always ends in you steamrolling through the map because the AIs never threatens you unless you decide to roleplay a maniacal tyrant?

What he says is not incorrect yet it's not unlike the other Paradox games either. Funny as it may sound, sandbox games by design lead to anything from extreme boredom to an absolute fuckfest of insanity depeding on how the game feels like playing out on that day. If Stellaris is tipped on the side of boredom then it's an easy thing to change for the devs (or the modders).

For me Stellaris is absolutely the best and most fun 4x I have played even in the current state, period. Far above Endless Space for instance and a big part of why is that there's just so many fucking cool mechanics in the game to play around with. My problem is that it's just rough at the moment as not even the first patches have landed. It's not an outright unplayable buggy mess (like the latest Batman or something) but it's the little things that pop up as you try micromanaging your sectors and your pops... the game just doesn't let you do certain things that you should be able to. No mapmodes yet the game obviously needs them. Minor bugs in an otherwise great UI. It seems like the game was basically semi-rushed to be released ahead of HOI4 for whatever reason and so they left some things half done and started polishing the game for release.

So how do I score a game that is the best in it's genre yet needs work to really show what it can do? I don't fucking know. :D Would I recommend it to a fan of 4x games who is familiar with the reality of how they are developed AKA full of annoying minor bugs and in need of major rebalancing? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to a person who is looking for either CK2 or EU4 in space? Not at all and I don't understand how these people expected anything like them because the developers certainly never kept their motives hidden. Would I recommend it to a random bystander who might be interested in strategy games? Don't fucking know... I've been playing Paradox games since the first one the released in 99 as well as 4x games so I have no idea what they would even expect.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on May 11, 2016, 09:09:58 PM
I will buy Stellaris too, but I think I will wait until I get bored with Doom. By then it will hopefully have all them patches and maybe even a DLC or two.

There is an insect race that looks just like the Shadows from Babylon 5. I'm so picking them! :D
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 11, 2016, 09:55:07 PM
My first game closely resembled the Earth-Mimbari war. :P Except they didn't stop at Earth and proceeded to slaughter the entire population by orbital bombardment. :|
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 12, 2016, 11:55:18 PM
Holy mother of all space battles.

(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/278473128246150560/9F0DFE30AFF00EBE3A752F8B885AC183D9928600/)
(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/278473128246152978/EF7B298F575745B9F140177801807D21DCD186FD/)

Whoever thought adding a bunch of flashing effects and circles on EVERY ship was a good idea lols? Was simple enough to mod them away and it didn't even break achievements (I hope).

(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/278473128246152263/67F5D559D4B0E22E9CCFA6C31D87D06F147C2BAC/)


Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 21, 2016, 11:30:18 AM
I will never ever get bored of fleet battles in this game. So many weapon types, such cool ship designs compared to a lot of space games out there. I had to create two mods to fix the visuals tho:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=687037851
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=683121431

(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/278473670199573144/576B76B5BA6E8510FA6AD4266949C4D8E93692DA/)
(http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/278473670200146871/C7146A0990DA0EBF0D4D9424D25AF4182F42115F/)

Also working on my 'space UN' mod (quoted post from the forums):
Quote
STATUS: Work in progress.

Something I've been playing around with. I wanted to implement a mechanic similar to the UN elections from Civ 4. I'm not sure how well it fits into the gameplay yet but I think I got it working mostly properly aside from a couple of issues.

It's supposed to be more of a flavor thing for mid/late game with small modifiers giving bonuses to various things and so on. Also, it's not meant to make empires love each other even more and to make the game more boring, quite the opposite if I can manage it.

Basic mechanics:

1. A rare tech is researched which enables a project if that empire was the first to research it. The project is completed. The 'Galactic Council' is founded where the founder starts as the president and automatically sends out invites to every known empire. After everyone has been invited, the founder's presidency term start.

2. Every 2(?) years the presidency rotates around the council members. Everyone is placed in queue that ensures that the presidency rotates through every member before starting over again. New presidents and new members are placed last in the queue etc.

3. Once during each member's presidency, they will get to call a vote on something. Each member gets one vote per 10 pops. A vote is passed if it is supported by a 66% majority.

4. Any council member is free to defy anything voted through by the council but it will give a negative empire modifier and a negative opinion modifiers from the council members. They can also choose to secede from the council which will really piss them off.

Vote options:
These could be anything. I've just implement a couple of random things:

1. Expand the council. The current president sends out invites to any empire known to him.

2. Free Trade Agreement. An empire modifier with credit bonus and more ethics drift.

3. Set a council policy for 10 years. Ban/adopt slavery, migration, bombardment etc.
Three free patches coming up:
Quote
"CLARKE" HIGHLIGHTS
-Fixes to the Ethic Divergence and Convergence issues. Currently, Pops tend to get more and more neutral (they lose Ethics, but rarely gain new ones.)
-The End of Combat Summary. This screen looks bad and also doesn’t tell you what you need to know in order to revise your ship designs, etc.
-Sector Management GUI: There are many issues with this, and we will try to get most of them fixed.
-Diplomacy GUI issues. This includes the Diplomatic Pop-Ups when other empires contact you, but also more and better looking Notifications, and more informative tooltips on wars, etc.
-AI improvements: Notably the Sector AI, but also plenty of other things. This kind of work is never "finished"...
-Myriads of bug fixes and smaller GUI improvements.
-Late game crises bugs. There were some nasty bugs in there, blocking certain subplots and various surprising developments.
-EDIT: Remaining Performance Issues. We know about them; they might even be hotfixed before Clarke.
-EDIT: Corvettes are too good.
Quote
"ASIMOV" HIGHLIGHTS (NOT SET IN STONE!)
-Border Access Revision: Borders are now open to your ships by default, although empires can choose to Close their borders for another empire (lowering your relations, of course.)
-Tributaries: New diplomatic status and corresponding war goals.
-Joint Declarations of War: You can ask other empires to join you for a temporary alliance in a war against a specific target. Defensive Pacts.
-Harder to form and maintain proper Alliances.
-More war goals: Humiliate, Open Borders, Make Tributary, etc.
-Emancipation Faction. We had to cut this one at the last minute. Needs redesign.
-Diplomatic Map Mode. Much requested!
-Diplomatic Incidents: This is a whole class of new scripted events that causes more interaction with the other empires.
Quote
CURRENT "HEINLEIN" INTENTIONS
-Sector and Faction Politics: We are working on a design for this. I always wanted to make Factions more closely tied to Sectors, for example...
-Federation and Alliance Politics: As a player, you need more ways of interacting with the other members, push your will through, and get elected, etc.
-Giving Directions to Allies and Subject States.
-Strategic Resource Overhaul: You should need these and search for them far and wide. They should be extremely important.
-Battleship Class Weapons. Some Battleship front sections will be repurposed for an XL size weapon slot. There are currently four ship sizes but only three sizes to weapons, creating an imbalance. Also, Battleships should have fewer small weapon slots and have to rely on screens of smaller ships.
-Fleet Combat Mechanics: Formations and/or more complex ship behavior is needed.
-Mid-game scripted content: Guarded “treasures”, mid-game crises, colony events, etc.
-Living Solar Systems: Little civilian ships moving around, etc.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 25, 2016, 07:02:04 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qyaqOOTuiU
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Xaviz on May 25, 2016, 11:16:59 PM
DEATH TO AMERICA!
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 26, 2016, 02:24:53 PM
Quote
I find myself shocked, giving this game a negative review, but here we are. Been a fan of total war since the original Medieval, and own all of them except Attila. This game, while pretty with lots of cool Warhammer lore, is a step backwards.

The campaign map is even more simplified than Rome, the AI suffers from several deficiencies, first of which is an inordinate amount of attention on the player (Ork raiders bypassing weak AI settlements, sometimes several, to wreak havoc in your province). And again, an old problem has yet to be corrected, the ability of the AI to have MASSIVE armies with a single territory under their control. On higher difficulties, the AI is blatanly abusive of mechanics (It can outrun you and it knows it). The hero system is not very intuitive, nor is there much help on the matter.

Combat has also suffered from over simplification. Gone are your unit formations (you only have two, misssle front, missle rear). Combat is also incredibly fast. It may be nitpicky, but I really liked zooming in on close combat and watching the models kick the tar out of each other in amusing ways. Now, units are destroyed and flee at such a pace as it makes enjoying the scene practically impossible. Elsewhere it has been mentioned that there is some sort of mechanic that buffs armies that have greater numbers than their foes. In the days of yore, a well thought out defense, making use of terrain, unit strengths, and cover meant you could outwit and defeat a much larger and better equipped force, or at least bloody their noses enough to slow them down. Now, if you are outnumbered, the battles are incredibly lopsided, no matter what you do. This mechanic plays in your favor as well. A small AI force can be routed almost instantly, and you will take minimal casualties. One final mention on battles, ranged weapons and artillery are DEVASTATINGLY accurate. Not only are they accurate, but they are an absolute menace, to you or the AI. Artillery can wipe out entire units long before they ever engage, and fire with accuracy that would make an olympic marksman green at the gills, regardles of cover.

Diplomacy, while always the whipping child of Total War, has been oversimplified again. They were going a good direction with Empire and Shogun II, I was hoping they would refine it, but instead it has essentially returned to Medieval II, without the diplomat units. AI regions do not support each other, or seem to care that you are slaughtering their Bretonnian brethren while you trade with them and grant military access. Your allies bail on you at the first sign of invasion. This is all run of the mill for the Total War Franchise, but the step backward in developement is a disappointment.

This is the first review I have ever written, but the disappointment in this game was quite disheartening. I love Total War, but this feels like a beta at best, and with some major internal mechanical flaws. I hope it gets better, but so far this is the only Total War game to let me down and feel like I wasted money.

All I need to know to avoid this game like the plague. This and watching a stream for 30min of someone who was already autoresolving every battle and raging at some annoying grudge system in the campaign mode. Now, the game has a few good things going for it. It's Warhammer. It has a lot of apparently diverse factions to play. That's about it. I couldn't tell the difference in the battles between this and all the other Total War games in terms of gameplay. You would think that being Warhammer, there would be something SUBSTATIALLY new at least. The only reason to play this game is because you can watch the same old Total War but with some slightly cooler warhammer textures but I know I would quit the game after 2 days.

It's the same old story but somehow even less. Visually it's nowhere near as impressive as the marketing screenshots would suggest. Show me a random zoomed out screen of this and Shogun 2 and it would be the same. The animations are worse than in previous games, there's no blood (WTF - it's warhammer), everything has been simplified and the combat runs at arcade speeds yet again and on it goes. And then there's the Chaos DLC (adds completely new playstyle, dozens of units etc.) which you won't get unless you preordered a franchise with a notoriously shitty history. No doubt it'll be up for 15 bucks later.

Fuck the campaign mode, give me Warhammer Dark Omen 2 with just the tactical battles and an actually competent tactical AI.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on May 31, 2016, 01:54:00 PM
https://youtu.be/DmEcSOiFDn0?list=PLkQMBP16-XLEVHqSC4CM82aHB10OaG9-T

Hearts of Iron IV just a week away, time to get hyped.

Review predictions: IGN plays one game with Albania, complains how there is nothing you can do. PCGamer picks USA and complains how the game is too easy. 1/10.

Alright, serious predictions:

-This is the flagship title for Paradox even though Stellaris was more advertised and probably sells more than HOI4. HOI4 development was started before Stellaris and it will be released after Stellaris so it won't feel as rushed.

-I'm not convinced the AI will give you much challenge at normal difficulty. I'll probably mod in a custom difficulty as I have in every HOI.

-Balance issues and some broken mechanics are 100% a given since this is a sandbox game.

-Reviews will range from casual people complaining how the game is too confusing to people who complain how you don't have to micro 500 units one by one or study 20 different map modes to see why your unit won't move.

Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on August 18, 2016, 09:48:02 PM
1.3 for Stellaris is getting closer and it's basically going to revamp the way the game is played and hopefully finally goes from being 'broken but awesome' to 'normal people can finally enjoy this' status. Major changes to how ships are designed, super weapons for fallen empires and fallen empires can awaken and start fucking shit up more than usual just to name a few changes.

But more importantly the workshop is starting to fill up with some badass high quality mods:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=80&v=1vTO5QQWM84

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=74&v=szDBJdpHQtc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srkwji6t9uQ

Not to mention portraits from every imaginable scifi from Mass Effect to Eve Online. And nazis.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on August 22, 2016, 11:09:51 AM
Crusader Kings II: Reaper's Due

Quote
The expansion adds a large number of small features and mechanics around the theme of death, diseases and epidemics:

Symptoms: characters no longer simply become ill through an event, but instead receive one of a variety of symptoms (Cough, Fever, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Headache, Chest Pain, Rash, Cramps, Abdominal pain, Fatigue, Malaise) and over time it will either evolve into a full blown disease, or will simply pass.[3]

Court Physician is a new minor title which you can give out to a well-learned person which makes them responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses in your court.

New death screams.[4]

Epidemics can now spread along the Silk road when present, and are more likely to spread to rich and coastal provinces while being less likely to spread to poorer inland areas. They will cause depopulation on provinces even after it has died out, reducing tax incomes, levy/garrison sizes, and supply limits. [5]

The Black Death is larger and more deadly, and gets a chance of major outbreak to occur 200 years into any game, regardless of start date. After a major outbreak has happened the disease becomes endemic and may break out again, but likely on a smaller scale.

Ways to defend against epidemics: seclusion of a character's court in his castle, or building Hospitals (new holding type similar to Trade posts or Forts) to increase the disease defense level.[6]

Prosperity system[7]: as opposed to Depopulation, provinces which have not been besieged, raided, or ravaged by disease for a long time will begin to Prosper, and gain certain bonuses- such as extra tax income and faster replenishment of levies. Independent dukes or higher can set one of their Demesne provinces to be their Crown Focus for additional yearly increase and events.

New narrative events such as The rise of a Prophet of Doom, A general belief that the dead have returned to walk the earth and attack the living, or Panic based on a solar eclipse, or the quest for Eternal Life.[8]

New maimed traits (One-handed, One-legged, One-Eyed, Disfigured, or Mangled) to replace the generic maimed , and some associated portrait frames.[9] The health penalty from most of these traits is replaced by a Severely Injured trait with penalties but will be lost after some time has passed.

New targeted decisions: recruit prisoners, ask vassals individually to end their wars with each other, ask characters to leave their court and ask their vassals to return to gavelkind succession.

50 new nicknames: 'One-Eye', 'the Frog', 'the Cannibal', 'the Hideous', 'the Resilient', etc.

Interactions with prisoners: Humiliate, Torture, Mutilate, Bad poetry and Consume (if cannibal). [10]

31 execution methods, including Hanging, Crushing, Sawing, and Bear.


Reactions events to the death of lovers, friends, and rivals

Events around cats

Fuck it, gonna have to get this on release.

Stuff on the forums never ceases to crack me up. :D

Quote
Relatively new player here.

So I randomly received an Attractive Quick courtier with really good stats, including 30 Intrigue. I made her my Spymaster. We became Lovers and have consistent 100 Opinion of each other. My first wife was perfectly fine, but I like my super hot and super capable Spymaster better and she's also 5 years younger with a nice looking portrait. So I murdered my wife and married my Spymaster, and made her my Regent too. I also got some nice Lover events which made this seem the happiest marriage ever.

Now my youngest brother is a very good military leader with 17 Martial. I conquered a neighboring Duchy with his help, so I landed him in the Duchy. I also made a really good marriage deal for him with an Attractive princess from another kingdom. Just before my youngest brother could get married, he died in suspicious circumstances. Since I was his heir, I inherited his Duchy which was admittedly a nice Duchy.

A quick look in a save file confirmed my suspicion that my darling Spymaster wife killed my little brother. She's not Cruel or Ruthless or Kind or Family Person, just your regular Quick Ambitious Diligent Patient 30 Intrigue Illusive Shadow Spymaster.

Question: Why did she kill my brother? Is it because I was my brother's heir?

Is she going to kill other members of my house? Especially my heir whose mother was my first wife? Is she going to kill me, her liege and lover who raised her from obscurity to the elite of the world? My eldest son and carefully-groomed heir is 14 years old with 13 Intrigue. I have 22 Intrigue. My youngest brother whom my Spymaster wife killed had 3 Intrigue. I have a son by my Spymaster wife who would become my heir if my eldest son dies.

How do I prevent my overpowered Spymaster wife from killing members of my own house? I like her but this killing has got to stop. I give the word for the killings here, not her.

Oh and my Spymaster wife keeps uncovering Plots from my other trusted advisors including my Marshall and my Treasurer. Needless to say I did nothing about those. Is she moving to kill them too?

Please help. I feel trapped.
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on October 19, 2016, 06:17:24 PM
(https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?attachments/stellaris_patchnotes_1-3-jpg.212600/)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYjZxX8Xac
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on October 24, 2016, 08:14:01 PM
Sweet space-jesus, the visuals have been upgraded!

(http://i.imgur.com/KHWvxvA.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/7qHxnMX.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/kjjAoiE.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/6v0KNxR.jpg)
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Brevi on October 24, 2016, 08:37:30 PM
Holy shit! Looks awesome! :O
Title: Re: Strategy Games 2016 edition
Post by: Melrax on April 06, 2017, 07:10:55 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl5IjvPvSPs

Not the most exciting trailer and the expansion is a bit pricey at 20€, but it is pretty sweet combined with the new free patch features. Basically, forget anything you knew about how the game works because just about everything has been changed somehow. Now you can conquer, enslave AND eat aliens for one thing. Heavy references to anything from Starship Troopers (you can play as a hive mind can only conquer and consume other aliens) to Warhammer (explore the "shroud" aka Warp until shit goes wrong).

Galaxy settings for a chill game: huge galaxy, 15-20 empires, minimum habitable worlds. Hyperdrive-only-game is pretty interesting to play.

Mods that don't change the game, just add cosmetic things for the most part and don't require any tweaking (ignore any out-dated warnings):

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=707297106 - to make sure your galaxy isn't boring
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=682165224 - flags and emblems
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=686093209 - more flags and more emblems
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=731594634 - much more colors, very nice now that your ship color matches your primary flag color
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=697938908 - great looking star system backgrounds

And these *cough* super awesome mods are a must have:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=687037851 - downscaled ships
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=692492543 - epic explosions