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  #41  
Old May 11th 2016, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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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.
Well, that sounds interesting, but I'm probably at the other end of the spectrum - I usually hate micromanagement and prefer to play 'meta'.

Anyway, I haven't read much about the game yet. I suppose in the next couple of weeks we'll see some material posted from non-corporate sources that I will check out. I do have an open mind towards the game since I've been a fan of Civ and Space Empires for years, but so far, the game doesn't seem too attractive to me.
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  #42  
Old May 11th 2016, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Civilization VI has been announced: http://www.pcgamer.com/civilization-...buffer_pcgamer
That will give the fanatics something to talk about and argue.

With Civ, I will definitely wait at least a year or more after any release before even looking at the game. Civ has a long reputation for releasing half-baked buggy software, then selling critically important game expansions that are necessary for the full game. After a year or so, they do get the product working very well and one can usually buy a 'gold edition' which includes all the expansion packs and bug fixes all in one go for a good price.

Edited to add: I just read the linked article. I'm pissed that the game designers are still obsessed with the one thing I find most annoying about Civ3-4-5 and that's the Civ Leader shit. I hate it when the game tells me that Bismark just built some wonder or that Bismark declared war on me, or Bismark this, Bismark that. Bismark didn't build any wonder, Germany did. When I'm playing, I'm playing against Germany, not against Bismark. I find the whole obsession with civ leaders in the game to be annoying. Besides which, the idea that Bismark is always the leader of Germany for 6000 years just seems stupid, unhistorical and very 'gamey'. It certainly doesn't add to the 'role-play' aspect of the game - I think it ruins the atmosphere by introducing an unhistorical element like that. Similarly, when I'm playing Germany, I'm not fucking Bismark - I'm me. I don't want to pretend that I'm Bismark and I hate it that the game forces me into that position.
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  #43  
Old May 12th 2016, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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That will give the fanatics something to talk about and argue.

With Civ, I will definitely wait at least a year or more after any release before even looking at the game. Civ has a long reputation for releasing half-baked buggy software, then selling critically important game expansions that are necessary for the full game. After a year or so, they do get the product working very well and one can usually buy a 'gold edition' which includes all the expansion packs and bug fixes all in one go for a good price.
That does seem to be the way to go. With Civ 5, we didn't buy the game until it was just $5 during one of Steam's massive sales, and even then we mostly just ignored it until the Brave New Worlds expansion came out. Of course since then we've put (let me check here) 428 hours into the game between the two of us...
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  #44  
Old May 13th 2016, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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That does seem to be the way to go. With Civ 5, we didn't buy the game until it was just $5 during one of Steam's massive sales, and even then we mostly just ignored it until the Brave New Worlds expansion came out. Of course since then we've put (let me check here) 428 hours into the game between the two of us...
I couldn't imagine that game without the BNW expansion. That's what I mean by 'critically important' expansions. Paying top dollar for a buggy new release then paying more for expansions just to make the game complete and functional is crazy.
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  #45  
Old May 13th 2016, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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I couldn't imagine that game without the BNW expansion. That's what I mean by 'critically important' expansions. Paying top dollar for a buggy new release then paying more for expansions just to make the game complete and functional is crazy.
If you replace 'crazy' with 'the contemporary gaming business model', that's pretty much spot on. That's what you get when the sales/PR people decide things instead of the actual developers. But Paradox is quite moderate in that aspect. I know some who are way, way worse. People in general seem to forget that besides the DLC's there's always a free patch with many improvements and additions.

After 71 hours I consider most complaints I read in several forums to be complete nonsense. The AI not aggressive enough? Tell that to the smoldering remains of what I considered my bestest empire yet after I encroached upon the sensibilities of the wrong type of Fallen Empire .

What people also seem to ignore completely is that the game is very much what you decide it to be in the game setup. There are so many options that it's you rather than the developers who decides what kind of game Stellaris is. A 1000 system galaxy with a handful of AI empires playing as a pacifist, intellectual scientist will be a completely different game than playing a fanatic militarist xenophobe in a smaller galaxy with 30 AI empires. It's really impossible to evaluate this game before having played through at least a dozen of such variations.

Nevertheless, there's no question that there are a number of annoying quirks and bugs. It's pretty frustrating when you've worked on a chain of events over -game- decades triggered by anomalies only to have the last step simply not appearing while all the conditions are met and all the tasks are performed. And while I understand that Paradox with full intent and purpose wanted this to be a more accessible title than their usual work, the information and UI is in several places too minimalistic. While a full fledged ledger or the dozens of mapmodes of EU IV aren't necessary, not being able to find relevant information easily and quickly or even at all is not good.

Which brings me to the notorious concept of the sectors. I've grown to understand and appreciate the intention of the idea, the concept. You just move a colony into a sector when you've finished setting up its basic functionality and future purpose. Once that's done the only thing you'd be doing there anyway is to click on 'upgrade' when you've researched a higher level of the buildings there. That's a task an AI is quite capable of.
But, since you still have operational use of the starports on the colonies in a sector and the ships you build there, then those ships should at least appear in the outline just like the ones you build in your autonomous colonies. I've been known to haemorrhage energy credits because I had a few colony ships sitting around at starports inside sectors, which I forgot about and which don't appear in the fleet list.

But in the end, none of the bugs and issues are big enough to stop me from creating yet another species and putting it into its very own custom made universe. Like just about....right.... NOW
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  #46  
Old May 14th 2016, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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If you replace 'crazy' with 'the contemporary gaming business model', that's pretty much spot on. That's what you get when the sales/PR people decide things instead of the actual developers. But Paradox is quite moderate in that aspect. I know some who are way, way worse. People in general seem to forget that besides the DLC's there's always a free patch with many improvements and additions.

After 71 hours I consider most complaints I read in several forums to be complete nonsense. The AI not aggressive enough? Tell that to the smoldering remains of what I considered my bestest empire yet after I encroached upon the sensibilities of the wrong type of Fallen Empire .

What people also seem to ignore completely is that the game is very much what you decide it to be in the game setup. There are so many options that it's you rather than the developers who decides what kind of game Stellaris is. A 1000 system galaxy with a handful of AI empires playing as a pacifist, intellectual scientist will be a completely different game than playing a fanatic militarist xenophobe in a smaller galaxy with 30 AI empires. It's really impossible to evaluate this game before having played through at least a dozen of such variations.

Nevertheless, there's no question that there are a number of annoying quirks and bugs. It's pretty frustrating when you've worked on a chain of events over -game- decades triggered by anomalies only to have the last step simply not appearing while all the conditions are met and all the tasks are performed. And while I understand that Paradox with full intent and purpose wanted this to be a more accessible title than their usual work, the information and UI is in several places too minimalistic. While a full fledged ledger or the dozens of mapmodes of EU IV aren't necessary, not being able to find relevant information easily and quickly or even at all is not good.

Which brings me to the notorious concept of the sectors. I've grown to understand and appreciate the intention of the idea, the concept. You just move a colony into a sector when you've finished setting up its basic functionality and future purpose. Once that's done the only thing you'd be doing there anyway is to click on 'upgrade' when you've researched a higher level of the buildings there. That's a task an AI is quite capable of.
But, since you still have operational use of the starports on the colonies in a sector and the ships you build there, then those ships should at least appear in the outline just like the ones you build in your autonomous colonies. I've been known to haemorrhage energy credits because I had a few colony ships sitting around at starports inside sectors, which I forgot about and which don't appear in the fleet list.

But in the end, none of the bugs and issues are big enough to stop me from creating yet another species and putting it into its very own custom made universe. Like just about....right.... NOW
Nice.

Paradox has a good reputation for keeping up with their big releases, both in terms of patch fixes and lots of DLC. How many DLC options are out for CK2 now? Double digits, certainly.

Also, IIRC, they designed Stellaris so that it would be relatively easy to mod and almost all parts of the game are open to modification. I suspect just about any feature one doesn't like will be removable/tweakable via a user-made mod before too long. I'll wager the limit on how many planets you can directly control without sectors will be one of the first things to be modded away.
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  #47  
Old May 16th 2016, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Nice.

Paradox has a good reputation for keeping up with their big releases, both in terms of patch fixes and lots of DLC. How many DLC options are out for CK2 now? Double digits, certainly.

Also, IIRC, they designed Stellaris so that it would be relatively easy to mod and almost all parts of the game are open to modification. I suspect just about any feature one doesn't like will be removable/tweakable via a user-made mod before too long. I'll wager the limit on how many planets you can directly control without sectors will be one of the first things to be modded away.
I don't think that can be done, i.e. removing the sectors altogether, without breaking a whole lot of other stuff. It's pretty fundamental to the game. And it's really not a bad concept, it's just the implementation which is buggy and very poorly documented. In my current game I'm keeping a close eye on what my sectors are doing and provided you have some info -most of which is discovered by players, not provided by Paradox in or outside the game- they do make sense.

But it's all about information. A specific example:
For a new colony to develop into a proper planet wide society it needs a building called a Central Administration (or some such). You can build this as soon as its population reaches 5 pops (the population unit used throughout the game). That takes a while so it makes sense to put the developing colony into a sector and let the AI take care of its development while you start colonies elsewhere. Now, there was a big fury that the sectors never constructed the Central Administration so that the colonies under sector supervision never developed and remained in a highly inefficient state. But then someone figured out that while a Central Administration costs 350 minerals (the generic building currency) the sectors only constructed the Central Administration when they have 600 minerals to spare giving them some leeway. And indeed, if you provide your sectors consistently with that level of minerals the development goes smoothly. But that 600 figure is nowhere indicated or even hinted at. And there are many similar things who do work but one simply doesn't know how because it's nowhere mentioned.

To me it's clear what has happened: the sales people have forced a release date on the developers who had to make a build outside of the actual development cycle which is stable but doesn't contain many aspects of the game that weren't 100% finished and as good as no internal information. Hence all the recent confusion.

Today's developer diary pretty much confirms this. The 'Clarke' patch scheduled for the end of May is supposed to sort this problem out.
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  #48  
Old May 16th 2016, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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Today's developer diary pretty much confirms this. The 'Clarke' patch scheduled for the end of May is supposed to sort this problem out.
I've read a bit online about the game. It does sound interesting. I'll certainly wait for some patches first before looking at buying it. Every release of CKII has been brutally buggy. They iron it out eventually, but it takes time.
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  #49  
Old May 17th 2016, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

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I've read a bit online about the game. It does sound interesting. I'll certainly wait for some patches first before looking at buying it. Every release of CKII has been brutally buggy. They iron it out eventually, but it takes time.
Good choice I now concede. I'm deep in the mid game now and the sectors are getting on my tits, lol. My economy has structural problems and I cannot assuage them because of the sectors. Next game I'm going to try without them since:

@Dil
Apparently it's extremely easy to put aside the sectors. Rather than having to make a huge mod all one has to do is to increase a single parameter which indicates how many planets are under your direct control. If you put that at 1000 'all your planets are belong to the player'.

Shame it breaks Ironman though. I like achievements.
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Old May 24th 2016, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Random post VII: the randomness awakens

Got no time for politics. Getting close to the 200 hours mark in Stellaris
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