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  #31  
Old May 7th 2016, 07:21 AM
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Dominick Dominick is offline
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Maybe not Dominick's taste, but here's a Let's Play of Stellaris by my favorite YouTube personality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TI9tzLD8WQ. Not something I'd sit down and watch all the way through, but it makes good background listening to get a feel for what playing is like.

He does a lot of EU IV and Civilization V content, so expect lots of comparisons to those games.
Yes, I know Quill. He was one of the human players in that multiplayer stream I mentioned. He cunningly broke loose from the monster alliance just before they attacked the Fallen Empire. The result was that he was the only one left with a decent fleet with the predictable consequences. Smart move.

But -how did you guess- he's not to my taste, no. In fact, most of these people aren't (do you know DDRJake e.g.). Playing a game for them is finding as many tricks, exploits and even cheats to 'beat' the game. I only play slow, thoughtful and straightforward. I'll never do a world conquest in EU IV or presumably conquer the galaxy in Stellaris but I don't get what satisfaction one gets from doing it with what they call 'cheese'.
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  #32  
Old May 9th 2016, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

Well, Stellaris is out today. I assume we won't hear from Dominick for a while.

They had an embargo on reviews until 12:00 Eastern when the game actually went live for the public. It's a more mixed batch than I would have guessed. A few very high, but also some pretty sharp critiques. 7/10 from PC Gamer and a painful 6.3/10 from IGN. Rock Paper Shotgun (my preferred reading) has a mostly positive take, but they don't give numerical scores.

There seems to be nigh universal agreement that the early game is an excellent take on the 4X genre, with a solid exploration and expansion model flavored by some superbly written and scripted anomalies, random events, and encounters with other aliens. The ship design system looks very cool, as does their novel approach choosing technologies. The diversity of FTL technologies is brilliant (similar to Sword of Stars, IIRC) and ensures meaningful replayability in the early game.

However, there seem to be some deep reservations about how well it transitions into the "grand strategy" genre in the mid-to-late game once the borders are closed. It seems that you're limited to directly controlling only five planets (up to 10 (?) with better governments/techs) and the rest MUST be managed by the AI for you, whether you would prefer to micro-manage them or not. Some seem to find themselves with "nothing to do" for virtual months or years at a time unless they want to start a war of aggression against their neighbor just for the hell of it. There are no peaceful or diplomatic victory conditions (and obviously no "historic" victory conditions) and some complain that the AI, while very competent, is also relatively and unlikely to ever initiate conflict on its own unless it has an absurd advantage. The "quests" with the clever writing from the early game come to an end in the mid-game.

Most disappointing, IMO, the various leading figures in your empire (governors, admirals, scientists, advisers, etc...) don't have fleshed out personalities like in Crusader Kings 2. They have names and skills and bonuses and eventually get old and die, but they don't have personality traits, or family connections, or their own ambitions. So all of the inter-personal intrigue and scheming (which, I gather, is what one spent their time focusing on during the slow bits of CK2) is gone.

Anyway, I don't think I'm going to be an early adopter. Especially since, for the moment, there are reports of performance issues in less-than-top-tier computers, even if they meet the recommended requirements. I expect they'll tackle that with patches soon. And they may deal with other objections with further patches or DLC. For now, I will wait and see.

Whenever you come up for air, Dominick, I'd be curious what you think. Especially if you make it all the way to the late stages of a game.
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  #33  
Old May 9th 2016, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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...Playing a game for them is finding as many tricks, exploits and even cheats to 'beat' the game.
Agreed.

The only Civ5 youtube video I watched (Tips & Strategies for Civ5) focused on how if a player offered a trade of say 4 horses and the AI agreed to pay 5 gold for that (but refuses to pay 6 gold), you could get the AI to agree to pay 2 gold for 1 horse and repeat that trade negotiation four times so that you get 8 gold for your 4 horses instead of 5 gold.

That's the kind of 'strategies' these people seem to specialize in. I just don't play like that.

Another thread at CivFanatics forum I read was by some guy who was explaining how he won a domination victory on a huge map board with 16 civs - apparently he went around every single turn to every single civ to see if he could get any one of them to declare war on some other civ. To me, that sounds extremely tedious. If that's what it takes to win, I couldn't be bothered.

I play games for relaxation, entertainment and enjoyment. I'm not going to do tedious and boring micro-managing just to get some small advantage so I can beat the game and brag about it.
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  #34  
Old May 9th 2016, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Anyway, I don't think I'm going to be an early adopter. Especially since, for the moment, there are reports of performance issues in less-than-top-tier computers, even if they meet the recommended requirements. I expect they'll tackle that with patches soon. And they may deal with other objections with further patches or DLC. For now, I will wait and see.
I've learned to wait at least one full year after a game releases before I'd even think of paying for it. I waited two years for Civ5 and don't regret it at all because when I finally did buy it, I got the special edition with all the expansion packs and bug fixes all included with the last/best version of the game so I've had absolutely zero problems with the game. And my edition of the game cost less than the original vanilla edition.
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  #35  
Old May 9th 2016, 09:31 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

Well, it came out at 6pm here and it's now the first time I really look up from the screen and it's 2am. So that's a review in itself.

That IGN review has received scathing reviews itself . It's quite obvious that he didn't spend much time with it. Some of the things he claims to be absent or dysfunctional were actually happening that very moment in the launch stream. Frankly, I don't see the point in reviews. The only review which matters is your own.

Anyway, very short summary: it's great but not perfect.

The thing with any game these days is that the 1.0 release is actually not a 1.0 release. I'm sure there are already plenty of things ready for a first DLC which in the good'ole days would have been in the game from the start. As it is, it's a bit shallow when compared to the intricacies of EU IV, let alone CKII. That transition from planet management to zone management which Dilettante mentions is something I don't like at all. I'm perfectly happy managing a thousand planets. That's what Paradox should be about. At the very least it should be an option.

That doesn't mean it's an unfinished rush job though, it's anything but actually. The artwork, UI, screens, music, the battle animation, it's all top notch. I haven't experienced a single bug yet, which is notoriously not always the case with Paradox releases.

About performance, that depends entirely on your computer and the state your Windows is in. People run games on laptops with integrated graphic cards and then complain. And most kids have a ginormous amount of junk installed or even running (possibly even without their knowledge). Mine is hardware suited for triple screen sim racing on the highest graphics settings with a Windows stripped down to bare necessities. I can throw anything at it and Stellaris certainly isn't going to be a problem when e.g. Assetto Corsa never is.

Anyway, another summary: it's not the ultimate game some expected it to be but it certainly has the potential to become that. I can understand that people wouldn't step in right now because there's no doubt there'll be a lot of extra stuff, and free stuff too apart from the DLC's. But then again, that's a neverending process so when is it the time to step in?
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  #36  
Old May 9th 2016, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Most disappointing, IMO, the various leading figures in your empire (governors, admirals, scientists, advisers, etc...) don't have fleshed out personalities like in Crusader Kings 2. They have names and skills and bonuses and eventually get old and die, but they don't have personality traits, or family connections, or their own ambitions. So all of the inter-personal intrigue and scheming (which, I gather, is what one spent their time focusing on during the slow bits of CK2) is gone.
The thing is, those things aren't 'gone'. They were never in it, not even in the planning stage. It was never meant to be a CKII in Space.

They do have personalities though. At least for people who are good at role-playing. Just google 'Mercedes Romero' on the Paradox forum (way too much history already to explain that meme)
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  #37  
Old May 10th 2016, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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yeah, my Venice game was actually one of the most entertaining games I've had in a while in Civ. It was especially so because I usually play wide so it was a brand new experience for me.
I recently played Venice - got a totally desert start. I took "desert faith" as a pantheon and then built Petra later on. It was by far the easiest and fastest cultural victory I've ever had. By 1500, I was gaining 300 gold per turn in income from a dozen trade routes, by 1800 I was gaining 400-450 gold per turn. I had 4 puppeted city-states and I set all of them to send a food caravan to the capital by ship. It was the only time I got my prime city to break the 50 population mark. I had a huge naval fleet and I never built any military units - I rush built everyone of my ships and military units with cash. I had like 10,000+ gold surplus all the time. Game was over by 1900. I won a cultural victory without ever building any hotels, airports or broadcast towers.

Interestingly enough, I saw a thread at CivFanatics entitled "Desert Venice" and the guy was reporting a similiar phenomenum.
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  #38  
Old May 11th 2016, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

It's been out for 42 hours and Steam tells me I have 35 hours of gameplay

Admittedly a few of those I was asleep without shutting it down but I'm still going to review my review. It's damn great. I don't understand how anyone can get bored with this. The storylines, the quests, the events, the anomalies, all that is so well written and designed. I suppose that people who complain about having nothing do are people who have let themselves be boxed in by enemy empires. But if you allow that, you've failed at the very essence of strategy which is about not getting into a lost position in the first place.
Just an example of the sort of thing you get: I had to find seven rare specimens of animals for my capital's zoo. Six of them were near enough my own empire to get them without too much hassle but the seventh was literally on the other side of the galaxy. My little science ship got there after about ten game years, dodging space amoebas, hostile crystalline entities, sneaking past enemy outposts, negotiating right of passage with half a dozen empires, jumping from one spiral galaxy arm to another to get around a Fallen Empire, stealing a few bits and pieces of science on the way by opportunistically outpacing allied science ships and so on. All that while playing the 'normal' part of the game. That epic trip alone was worth the price of the game.
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  #39  
Old May 11th 2016, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

Civilization VI has been announced: http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-...buffer_pcgamer
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  #40  
Old May 11th 2016, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I recently played Venice - got a totally desert start. I took "desert faith" as a pantheon and then built Petra later on. It was by far the easiest and fastest cultural victory I've ever had. By 1500, I was gaining 300 gold per turn in income from a dozen trade routes, by 1800 I was gaining 400-450 gold per turn. I had 4 puppeted city-states and I set all of them to send a food caravan to the capital by ship. It was the only time I got my prime city to break the 50 population mark. I had a huge naval fleet and I never built any military units - I rush built everyone of my ships and military units with cash. I had like 10,000+ gold surplus all the time. Game was over by 1900. I won a cultural victory without ever building any hotels, airports or broadcast towers.

Interestingly enough, I saw a thread at CivFanatics entitled "Desert Venice" and the guy was reporting a similiar phenomenum.
I had a similar game. Desert Venice, built Petra, kicked butt. As I said, it was entertaining for me because I almost always play wide in 4x games.
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