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Deacon
10-02-2006, 04:42:46
http://www.galciv2.com/
http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/galacticcivilizations2/news.html?sid=6143839

The spiritual heir to MOO2? Yikes, that's almost setting it up for a fall. But I hope it turns out well, and there's reason to believe it will since the previous GalCiv was well-received. I'm not sure how influence and politics will work out, but hopefully it won't be bothersome enough to suck the fun out of razing a tenacious AI's planets. :)

HelloKitty
10-02-2006, 08:03:11
Haven't heard anything bad about it. I have it on preorder at ebgames. Will have to wait 2 weeks to see how it is.

Funko
10-02-2006, 08:49:28
It does look really interesting. Still have a lot of play to get out of Civ IV though.

Venom
10-02-2006, 13:47:47
I'd like to get it, but I have a bajillion game hours to play. Stupid Football Manager 2006.

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 08:43:53
This game rocks.

This is where I've been. I've been beta and gamma testing this game.

Now, how might this game rock?

Well, for those of you that played GC1, let's just say that Star Dock has stuck in the big "Wish List" items.

I think the big ticket item is: Starship construction.

They really burnt some time into this. You not only cram in 5 lasers and 2 engines into a large hull, but you stick them together like adult legos. Tons of structural features, letting you design all sorts of wacky, wicked, or just plain mean looking ships. Your ship designs get saved between games, which is very useful in the early stages of the games because you don't have to keep redesigning your custom sensor barge, for instance.

They've changed how they handle worlds. Now, worlds are no longer the generic "Civ city" where you build "one of each building" on them. Instead, each world has a number of tiles, and you fill those up with whatever you want. Want the world to be a massive research center? Fill it up with labs. You want it to be a printing press of money? Fill it up with banks. You want it to be a crazed ship making machine? Fill it up with lots of factories. Very nice.

Fleets! You can now stick a bunch of ships together into a single combat unit, a fleet. This means that it isn't the biggest hull that wins, but rather the best combat unit.

The AI seems to be just as good in GC2 as it was in GC1.

Any questions?

Funko
17-02-2006, 09:50:22
Sounds very interesting!

Venom
17-02-2006, 13:02:52
Crap. I'm gonna have to get this one now.

Though how much do I really trust DORKSTAR!!!! THE EVER LIVING!!!!

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 13:28:29
If you like GC1, you are going to love GC2. If you like SF Galactic Conquest, this is your bag, baaaaaby!

Plenty of previews, reviews, and posts galore out there in the gaming verse about this. It goes retail on the 21. You can buy it and download it direct from Star Dock while the retail box copy is winding its way to you.

Venom
17-02-2006, 13:36:49
I've been waiting for a game to replace MOO2. Didn't play GC1 though.

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 13:52:01
This game may get you to retire MoO2. Same basic sort of game.

GC2 does not have any tactical battling. The Lead on GC2 is of the opinion that tactical combat in a TBS game is a crutch to let the players be lazy and not have to utilize any real strategy to win. There is a battle viewer that shows a 3D battle between your ships and the aliens, letting you see how your ships do at every stage of battle resolution. But there is not telling what to do. Still, it can be interesting to watch, and it really helps you see what works, what doesn't, and how to fine tune your death machines to be better killers.

Other then that though, it's a good fit into the genre. Build your empire up from 1 lone world via colonization, military conquest, and/or cultural assimilation. Research techs that do things, design your own ships, send them into battle and watch them kick ass and/or get their ass kicked.

The AI is not insane in the game. It doesn't just declare war on you because you are the Player. It doesn't just team up against you because you are the Player. Quite nice actually--- a mostly sane AI.

Venom
17-02-2006, 14:03:45
Fine! I'll buy the damn thing.

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 14:09:02
:lol: Hey, don't let me twist your arm so easily. ;)

Fistandantilus
17-02-2006, 14:09:41
Is there some sort of multiplayer?

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 14:16:46
Sorry Fist. It has no MP features.

If enough of the fanbase would pay for it, Star Dock would hapily add it in as an expansion, but most people into these long TBS games aren't willing to pay $10 for an MP focused expansion. Indeed, the vast majority of the pre-order customers weren't interested in MP at all, and that's why the game has no MP in this release. Star Dock checked on the "must have features" with the fanzers, and MP came in behind "Lots of pictures of hot, naked chicks". And that was pretty low on the list of features GC2 *should* have (according to the fanzers).

Funko
17-02-2006, 14:18:36
Hmm. That sucks. Civ IV hotseat has been great for me and Tizzy.

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 14:27:49
Well, it does suck for the hotseating friends, the lan party friends, and the PBEM crowd. But, MP was a feature that less then 5% of the fanzers said they'd ever even look at. Brad Wardell (the owner of Star Dock and Lead Designer) says that was about right. Whenever he's included MP in his other TBS games, it's only used by a very small fraction of the customers, but it eats up a lot of time and money. For instance, when they made Political Machine, which is MP, the MP took over 30% of the development budget, but less then 1% of the customers that bought Political Machine actually used it. (PM uses a match making service, and Star Dock can track that to see how many units are using it, and if they are repeats or uniques.)

For TBS games, MP play is not a headline feature in deep games. Brad has stated many times that if the customer base for GalCiv gets big enough, he and his team would be happy to add in MP to it. They would like to blow each other up in GC after all. But they need to break even (or come close). They are a independant software developer, and still on the smallish side.

Venom
17-02-2006, 14:27:59
So it does have pictures of hot naked chicks? Excellent.

Funko
17-02-2006, 14:29:58
For something like Hot-Seat or PBEM how can they tell how many people use it?

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 14:30:54
Sorry Venom. Not hot naked chick picks. Something about not having enough hot chick fans willing to send in pictures of themselves to use in the game, and the wives of the programmers not ever letting them come home again if the company actually hired models, or even artists to draw pictures of hot naked chicks.

The cowards!

Darkstar
17-02-2006, 14:43:54
I think they are just guessing, based on the number of online matches they match up through their servers for their other MP games. That and how often their friends and fanzers of their games admit to playing the games in hot-seat or PBEM. Brad's done a few developer journal postings on the subject. It's a periennal flame in the forums over at Star Dock, with the apassing troll coming in and declaring no one would ever be stupid enough to make a SP game, or that the only way the game is ever going to sell is if its MP. Those flames occasionally draw out Star Dock development members from time to time, and that ends up with actual boring numbers and stats rather then viscious vitriol and instructions on going off in a corner and pleasing oneself.

Soren (from the Civ4 team) has been participating in thse gamma testing, as well as some of the early alpha testing of the game. Soren says that good MP invariably ruins the SP play of a game. The requirements to make a good MP play is the exact opposite of what you need to make good SP play. Of course, Soren might have just not wanted the competition. ;)

HelloKitty
24-02-2006, 03:00:12
Well my copy is in.

Depending on my weekend I will probably pick it up tomorrow and may even have 2-3 hours late friday to test it out. Otherwise its Sun or monday for me.

Fistandantilus
24-02-2006, 10:39:19
Let us know if Darkstar made a good job :p

Greg W
24-02-2006, 11:44:46
Well, played around a tiny bit with it. Little too early to form an opinion, but nothing that I hate so far. Well, other than anyone being able to build a colony within your sphere of influence/border. I feel like I am playing Civ II again. ;)

Darkstar
24-02-2006, 21:59:23
Yeah, we had long fights over that in the beta. We wanted a "hard" border that couldn't be crossed unless civs were at war. Brad told us to go have a good wank and leave him alone, as "your hard border starts at the atmosphere of your worlds". :lol: I suspect that GC3 or GC4 will end up with some form of hard borders, but that's just a wild guess on my part. It is the exact sort of thing that is asked for, even demanded, by the players constantly. And has been, since OS/2 days, apparently.

And you people should know that I've done a completely half-assed job. What else would you expect? ;) Seriously though, no worries. The game turned out rather well. Luckily for all you Galaxy Conquerors out there, there were a lot of really sharp people testing the game.

Star Dock is continuing to improve the game. It's what they did with GC1. All those improvements will be available from them via their Star Dock Central free server/service, and it won't just be bug-fixes that they publish. Something I really like about them as a company. Long term support for their products, not just a "patch it twice and move on to the next thing".

Darkstar
25-02-2006, 03:10:51
Update: Don't forget to go by the GalCiv2 site and download the new free bonus pack.

Clicky for page on where to get yours:
http://www.galciv2.com/Downloads.aspx

Clicky for info on what's fixed in the included exe:
http://www.galciv2.com/Journals.aspx?AID=102455

This is something Star Dock did with GC1. They add in new bonus content for the game, and at the same time, update the program.

HelloKitty
25-02-2006, 17:34:01
Played a couple hours last night. Looks good.

HelloKitty
26-02-2006, 01:56:32
Is the AI supposed to just give up so easily?

To learnt eh game I was playing on normal, and two of the major races just gave up and joined other factions because of culture only. One joined me and the other an NPC.

I wasn't even near the one that joined me. Suddenly I had 15 stars ont he opposite side fo the galaxy (max map size).

Chris
26-02-2006, 03:37:17
I requested a review copy, waiting to hear back on it.

Darkstar
26-02-2006, 05:45:04
The AI does surrender more "easily" then in other games. That's often decided as a last "giving the finger" to its particular enemies in the game when it knows it cannot possibly win. So its not odd for the AI to surrender to someone across the galaxy that it has barely met.

HelloKitty
26-02-2006, 18:55:33
Well the AI will negotiate peace etc much more reasonably than other games.

However here is another problem.

Can your treasury not go below -2000?

I went to upgrade my ships on a gigantic map (56 defenders) and it set my treasury to -18k BC. The next turn it defaulted to exactly -2k.

I figured it sold some stuff off, but can't find anything missing.

So I started buying all the wonders each turn. 2k BC is pretty easy to make in 2-3 turns with a huge or larger map. EAch time it gave me the huge neg nuber 9-5k to -15k) and then after the turn was over defaulted to -2k.

You can also upgrade ships even when your treasury is negative, so basicly you can always have the best of everything if you are wiling to pay 2k.

HelloKitty
26-02-2006, 19:44:58
Well it looks like the beta testers sucked.

Now keep in mind that stardock will fix everything, but its insane these made it through a beta.

I just glanced at the boards, here are a few big ones.

Social and Military bonuses don't work right.

Morale bonuses and structures work on a super secret formula that is completely unrelated to any numbers given, plus it seems that structures don't help beyond the first one, if at all.

There is a way to move large slow ships dozens of spaces in a single turn using small fast ships.

The economy thing I posted

Planet stats are different depending ont he screen/window you veiw them on.

etc.

Darkstar
27-02-2006, 03:45:16
Of course the beta testers sucked! Didn't you hear? I was one!

According to the tester forum, the money bug is a recent thing that is on the list to be fixed. It didn't used to let you buy yourself into the negatives if you were already negative, so I don't know what's up with that. I certainly never checked out trying to do that in the last few builds, because it never let me before. Bad tester, I know.

I'll go double check the Social and Military bonuses. Military bonuses did work correctly prior to release, but I haven't checked the math since the code went "retail". The social were off but were supposed to get some programmer love fairly soon.

Morale is probably fragged. We've been harping on them about it since fairly early on, dating back to the alpha. I suspect other issues keep being put above that on the code monkey's list that are supposed to go fix that. I agree that it was an odd choice to pass this one through, but I wasn't in their offices so I don't know what trade off they picked over this issue.

The move bug exploit has been reported in need of serious programmer love for the last couple of weeks.

The screen window thing is--- well, I think it's stupid since the users will see interface issues and think Star Dock must be stupid because of it. I've said so over in the tester's forum. But again, I'm not on their programming team, so I don't know why what they were dealing with rather then dealing with that.

They'll get the bugs wiped out. They always do.

HelloKitty
27-02-2006, 03:58:38
Oh I am sure they will fix it. The company is great for supporting their producs.

Oh and I asked on the board and someone is claiming the -2k hard cap is a "feature" to precent newbie players from messing up their economy that the devs added near release.

Supposedly at the top difficulty levels the cap is removed (I was playing on intellegent, 5th of 8 so not exatly the noob level, although I was finding it too easy).

Makes the metaverse rankings moot now.

You can mass produce thousands of empty hulls with no maint and no real construtction cost and then all at once, for 2kBC a giant fleet of the top tech ships in the galaxy.

Darkstar
27-02-2006, 04:16:17
That's a feature? I'll go check in the tester's forum on that. It is one stupid feature if that's true. There's already this feature called "Saved Games" to allow new players going back and changing what they do to keep from hosing themselves.

I've always considerd the Metaverse rankings to be moot. It doesn't take long for the player community to find the perfect scoring formula, and then to do that, over and over again. Look at GC1. Metaverse is useful as your own hall of history, but it gets boring playing to be number one and then trying to maintain it. But, to each their own.

HelloKitty
27-02-2006, 09:31:26
The biggest bug?

You can issue orders to NPC ships if you use the hotkeys.

Try it next time you are in a war. Select your enemies fleet, press G. Well they are on guard duty for at least a few rounds now.

You can also give NPCs rally points and force them to auto pilot there.

Greg W
27-02-2006, 11:21:31
:lol:

Funko
27-02-2006, 11:27:29
Sounds like it's worth waiting for a few patches. :lol:

HelloKitty
27-02-2006, 17:08:47
I think stardock may be learning a lesson about where to get its beta pool from. Open beta to anyone who preorders from very early in beta sounds like a good idea, but you get very few testers that way.


Don't get me wrong, it is a good game, but I am going to put it aside a few weeks.

Venom
27-02-2006, 17:13:01
Dorkstar, you and your beta buddies did a shitty job. Tell them tha.

Greg W
27-02-2006, 23:42:59
Heh, I think that the majority of the testers mustn't know what real testing means. They're just playing the game for enjoyment, not real testing. Mind you, from what I have seen in games I have tested, game companies don't treat beta testing the right way either. They should have tasks to check off features to ensure that they work properly.

Hmm, my experience as a programmer is showing through again. :nervous:

Venom
28-02-2006, 01:20:40
If there's one thing I've learned from programmer, it's that you have to hammer the shit out of your application when testing it. You've got to hit it like a porn star, from every angle. Not just the standard playing angle. Because you never know what a user is going to do.

maroule
28-02-2006, 10:05:24
I downloaded the game yesterday, I'll hit it like a porn star in the next couple of days

Chris
28-02-2006, 12:05:48
Most games are not tested properly.

Especailly if they are involved with paradox some way, which always has the lamest testors.

Chris
28-02-2006, 14:39:01
Well, I will be getting it for review.

We will see if its crap or worth it.

HelloKitty
28-02-2006, 18:56:59
Oh its a great game. Just buggy atm. Even witht he bugs its fun to play.

Venom
28-02-2006, 19:01:00
Well when Christ reviews it we'll all know for sure.

MDA
28-02-2006, 19:53:59
not to be confused with chrisk

Venom
28-02-2006, 21:24:54
Hmmm, interesting typo. I didn't mean to blaspheme, but in this case I should definitely go to hell for that one.

Darkstar
28-02-2006, 22:30:12
Originally posted by HelloKitty
The biggest bug?

You can issue orders to NPC ships if you use the hotkeys.

Try it next time you are in a war. Select your enemies fleet, press G. Well they are on guard duty for at least a few rounds now.

You can also give NPCs rally points and force them to auto pilot there.

:tizzy: That was a damned cheat used by the devs to test out their own theories, and was removed prior to "gold". I see they enabled it at some point later. :tizzy:

Sorry, things like this get under my skin as a developer. They are a bit more relaxed about their code then most companies. But then, they are used to pushing out a new build 2 to 3 times per week after a release. Which is fine when you are an internet based company, except when the product is a a freaking game. :tizzy:

A great company, with fantastic support, but they do occasionally get on my nerves when they do stupid things like that.

Darkstar
28-02-2006, 22:41:23
Actually, about half of us gamma testers are all professional software developers. We don't have a problem finding most bugs and exploits. But, we aren't paid QA, and we forgot to check for every known prior bug in every single release. I don't have an excuse--- I'm just doing a shitty job as one of the privileged few. I *know* that one of the coders on the star dock team is bad to reintroduce prior bugs that were closed out by putting in some old code to double check on something else. But then, they aren't actually paying me, so they are getting their money's worth. :)

They'll get the stupid bugs and exploits closed. They always do. But it just drives me nuts when old issues creep back into code. I always feel like jumping into a set of jack boots, running down to whatever software developer has done it, and kicking the snot out of any developer that does that. Pet peeve of mine--- don't put back in old bugs!

The open alpha and beta was actually great for finding bugs. The problem is that they found so many bugs and odd behavior, that Star Dock didn't have time to close them out and still make their retail deal, or their retail requirements (getting ESRB screening, for instance). The closed gamma, well, that you can hang us on. That was the standard "beta" thing, where they just toss you a game and you go off and amuse yourself doing whatever and then reporting back on the fun. We did try a few fan based initiatives, breaking down into grammar and spelling teams, user interface elements, etc etc etc. But we didn't break out the QA techniques, like building a test plan, keeping it updated to test for old bugs coming back, and breaking up into actual teams to test the software. That would have been like, well, work. ;)

Fistandantilus
01-03-2006, 00:16:11
Originally posted by Venom
Hmmm, interesting typo. I didn't mean to blaspheme, but in this case I should definitely go to hell for that one.

:lol:

venom rulez - FACT

Chris
01-03-2006, 05:29:37
Originally posted by Venom
Well when Christ reviews it we'll all know for sure. It appears I am Venom's savior, ain't that a kick in the head.

Could you aim any lower?

maroule
01-03-2006, 10:26:50
not at all, you deserve each other

with Darkstar the Holy Spirit, we have the trinity

:D

Venom
01-03-2006, 13:08:35
We're still better than you. Though that's obviously easy to achieve.

maroule
01-03-2006, 14:10:45
better in what?

Venom
01-03-2006, 14:13:30
Every possible way.

maroule
01-03-2006, 14:23:42
which means you're, among other things, a better Frenchman than me...

Chris
01-03-2006, 14:24:34
Dogshit is better then Maroule.

More intelligent also I might add.

maroule
01-03-2006, 14:25:58
than Maroule, not then Maroule

Venom
01-03-2006, 14:27:54
Originally posted by maroule
which means you're, among other things, a better Frenchman than me...

But it also means that I'm better at not being a Frenchman.

maroule
01-03-2006, 14:29:18
so you're also better than me at not being an american

Venom
01-03-2006, 14:31:45
and I'm also better at fucking your wife.

maroule
01-03-2006, 14:34:25
and better at not fucking her

Venom
01-03-2006, 14:57:06
It's a crazy world I live in.

Darkstar
01-03-2006, 21:28:21
Venom is better than most men at not fucking women. He's an internet god in that way.

The Holy Trinity is: Venom, Funko, and Hello Kitty. 10 kicks in the DingDing for the first persn that can recall what the proper forum name of the Holy Trinity is. ;)

Why is Maroule picking a fight with Chris and Venom in a game thread? Wouldn't this be better done in the the main forum? So few of our posters will get to enjoy it if you do it here. That's just so selfish! Why don't you move that entertainment where more can see it and get bonus dingding attention from the unwashed masses? I know Venom wants his dingding to get some attention. He's always talking about how he has to kick his own dingding because no one else has bothered trying to find it for years. We could do our good deed for the year, and stop a perfectly good bug bitching thread from being threadjacked off of a GalCiv2 community bonding topic.

Venom
01-03-2006, 21:44:46
It's the ToD, oh loquacious bottom boy. And Funko's not part of it.

Darkstar
01-03-2006, 22:34:00
Funko is not a part of it? I thought he got subbed in.

You gave the holy abbreviation, not the long ass name. That's only worth 5 kicks in the dingding from Mr.G.

HelloKitty
02-03-2006, 00:18:26
Funko may have been considered at one point, but I don't think so, shaker, jonhhas mizzler, lurker, ajli, queeg, etc were all considered.

Did we ever settle on anyone?

And ToD stood for several different things, depending on if you reme=ber trinity or triangle and doom or death.

ToD is in hiding now. CKU is the new ass poking team.

Venom
02-03-2006, 01:46:35
TRIANGLE OF DEATH!

KANCHO!

Venom
02-03-2006, 01:47:36
And no I don't think we settled on anyone. It's been kind of a rotating position. Sorta like Crassus.

maroule
02-03-2006, 08:36:26
bah, I wasn't really picking a fight, my remark was fairly innocuous.

I started GCII yesterday night, was surprised how quickly other races were colonizing (on normal). I played around with it a bit, so far I'm not that thrilled, but I barely touched the surface.

Deacon
03-03-2006, 02:03:24
Still haven't bought the game....

Chris
04-03-2006, 04:48:58
Review copy has arrived, they sent 'the collector's edition' according to the box.

JM^3
04-03-2006, 04:57:07
Picked this up (and the Collector's Edition, of course I didn't see any nonCollector's Editions at the store).

Haven't installed it.

Got the new Battle for Middle Earth 2 and Star Wars : Empire at War also.

JM

Chris
04-03-2006, 13:10:54
It doesn't work for me, says I need new video drivers, DL them and XP updates takes forever.

JM^3
04-03-2006, 13:14:42
Tried it out, seemed cool.

As with the first one (which I played one game of), it seems like I am always a bit slow in colonizing.

JM

Chris
05-03-2006, 06:47:50
Found out what was wrong, my screen resolution was wrong, it won't start if its 800x600.

Played through a sample game, starting to pick up some things.

Venom
05-03-2006, 17:28:53
Your screen was set at 800x600?

Chris
05-03-2006, 21:27:05
Yeah, it always is.

Played through it a bit, the game is LONG and you can't see what kind of ships a tech brings.

Kind of hard to figure out what to research, especailly along the weapons and armor tracts.

Many of them don't seem to do anything.

HelloKitty
05-03-2006, 21:54:38
They all do something, but there is no easy way to see what they do.

As to what ships come, that info is added and shown when you start making your own designs. So the first time thorough you won't see any because there are none saved. The second time you play it will tell you what ships and what techs are required on the research screen.,

Darkstar
06-03-2006, 08:24:31
I think the sandbox has a problem in that all weapon and defense techs are available. In the campaign, you have a limited choice (ie, in the first scenario, all you can do is beam and armor lines). I personally don't like the 3 branches of Attack/Defense, but that's just me apparently.

Most of the 'do nothing' techs got cut (compared to GC1). However, there are still a few "empty" spots. There are not very many core ships, so there aren't many techs that "grant" a new ship design "out of the box". Just as Kitty states. However, once you've got your own ships designed, those will get listed, just like the core ships do. Also, you can make better ships then any core design offered.

Most of the techs list what they do. IE, Missile Tech 1 gives you "Sparrow" weapons component (the Dam-1 Missile component). Xeno Factory gives you Factory tiles. The problem is that there are lots of things that can be going on--- such as it might be a tile improvement, or a starbase improvement, or a weapon improvement, or a stat increase (+5 to diplomacy). So most of them don't really seem to do much, as the change is not usually a big difference. A slight improvement or an upgraded build possible or a slightly smaller version of the Laser. But over the steps, they add up. In the beginning, you can fit exactly 1 missile shooter on a "small" hull. By the end of basic missile technology (the tech just prior to it changing name to "Harpoon"), you can fit 3 such missile shooters on that same small hull. And if you've also pursued miniturization, you can actually fit 4 missile shooters. A vast difference in fire power.

The game is much longer compared to GC1. In GC1, all you had to do was bee line to Troop Transports (a fairly short tech line) and get Corvettes, and you could win the game. Now, you have to collect a lot more techs before you can start the military invasion. All the win conditions have moved back in how quickly you can achieve them, compared to GC1.

King_Ghidra
06-03-2006, 13:11:15
Eurogamer review:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=63130

Funko
06-03-2006, 13:38:18
Interesting review.

It might be worth checking out if I ever get bored of Civ IV... but that's a long time away I think.

Chris
06-03-2006, 14:32:19
Won't read the review unitil I write my own.

I will have to play through again to understand the concepts Kitty and DS mention.

maroule
06-03-2006, 16:29:25
I had fun playing it last WE, but fist impression is that the initial expansion is too important (whoever gets the juicy bits first will probably find it easy to win / so as such it seems to lack the arbitrage aspect you get in civ4 where too forceful an initial expansion will sink you). I went back to civ IV, but will give it other tries, it seems to deserve it.

Darkstar
06-03-2006, 17:42:49
GC has always suffered from an "initial colony rush". This one is the most "no mad expansion" required.

There's several aspects that work against you if you expand like mad. But, most players won't understand the fine balance that is inherent in the current start, mostly because of that 5000 BC you get to start with. We found in the beta testing that 99% of players just couldn't resist running for every single colonizable world, and they always ruined their game doing it (completely dead economy with a spiralling into the deep negatives treasury). So Brad kept upping the money you start with until most players could grab every world in sight, and muddle through until they established some Trade to pay for all their new worlds and infrastructure. Of course, since every player colonizes like mad, the AI will as well.

I skip all that by playing a lot of medium size maps using loose/rare/rare/rare setting. This makes for a map of medium size with no extra worlds other then the bonus home worlds. Lets me get straight into mid-game. Of course, with such few worlds around, that means I rarely go past the first tier of weaponry. But I don't think I need the super secret Missile components that are worth 50 damage each and only take 3 construction spots to wage war. I find my settings give me a more thoughtful slow burn TBS game. All my gigantic most/most/most games are a lot less challenging. Mostly because I have more resources to let me do things, like grabbing the next weapon tech in just a turn. Or grabbing 2 weapon techs in just one turn, for that matter. But some people like that.

Of course, if the AI gets too far ahead of me in those most/most/most games, it rolls me over pretty easily. But if it doesn't grow it's infrastructure and worlds as fast as me, I roll it over. That's what happens when the AI doesn't cheat. If you get ahead, you are ahead, congrats! Now, the AI surrendering can and occasionally does make up for that behavior, as the AI just surrendering out of the game and turning over all their worlds to another civ can build a minor player into a significant power house--- especially when it happens across the map from you. I've had the AI catch up quickly with me in plenty of games from that behavior.

I'd like to say GC2 is the perfect SF TBS. It isn't. I think its a fairly good TBS game. But its in the vein of the slow burn TBS games, rather then the Civ4 "played from start to victorious end in just 2 to 3 hours". And I think that limits its eventual total long term popularity. If you want to play just one evening of a TBS game from start to end, GC2 isn't the game to for you to pick.

HelloKitty
07-03-2006, 04:38:05
New patch was released today.

+ IMPORTANT NOTE: Your ship designs from 1.0D1 and before will NOT
show up in this version. We have updated this version so that the
ships contain their own unique version ID so that when we do FUTURE
updates, your ships will still work. But we didn't implement this
until now (now that we have seen the sophisticated ship designs people
are creating). So we apologize in advance for that, but it shouldn't
be a problem going forward.

+ AI puts more priority into colony ship speed over colony ship range.

+ AI Heavy fighters now have more focus speed than range in their
designs.

+ AI at "bright" or higher intelligence will make guesses (simulated
intuition) as to whether a path is safe for a transport *experimental*

+ Fixed GNN Goto bug on Planet Details window + Fixed bug where players
that turned off "Show Intro" option would get a crash when starting the
Campaign

+ Added option to turn off trade route lines

+ Planetary bombardment will cause a new planet texture to be created
to reflect lowered quality

+ “Invasion Cheese” effect removed where planet populations after the
invasion were incorrect. + Drop down icons (for ships and improvements
completed) will no longer get “stuck” if another window pops up while
the icon is falling down the screen.

+ added Difficulty index to save game code so that even if the game
difficulty changes, the users will still see the one they started out
with

+ Improved tooltip handling

+ Improved slider controls

+ There have been some changes to the graphics nodes in order to make
them look decent when textures are turned off.

+ There are now a ton of new graphics card options. Note that these
have not had the same kind of wide scale testing as the other options.

+ Graphics card throttling. This should eliminate all known "random"
CTDs. Heat. Users who experienced this issue should be aware that
this may be an ongoing issue with other new games they purchase that
make use of the newer GPU features. ATI/nVidia are now running their
cards very hot when all the goodies are used. + Starbase Production
Modules now assist Planetary Research

+ MEMORY FIX: I’ve implemented a more efficient and thread-safe way of
destroying scene nodes when they are no longer in use. This will speed
up ALT-TABs and cut down on memory usage significantly.

+ Social Production Ability enabled.

+ Fixed a GNN Goto button popup bug in Planet Details screen

+ Should fix auto-save issue some have reported (multithread issue).

+ Right-clicking improvement-complete icons will now scroll to planet
that built the improvement

+ New ship weapons and defenses for Good aligned players: -Telepathic
Defense -Subspace Rebounder -Dynamic Shielding -Arnorian Battle Armor

+ Fixed the problem where the game was reporting “Not in an Empire” for
some players who are in an empire. The code that checked for valid
empire data was requiring the presence of a website URL; that
information is now optional.

+ Fixed a bug in classGalaxy::CalcGameDifficulty(); it was including
the first minor race in its calculations.

+ Trade Goods and Galactic Achievements now transfer their benefits
when ownership of them changes. In the case of Trade Goods, ownership
of the Trade Good is transferred and the old owner no longer has use of
the Trade Good.

+ CalcAbilities() is now called whenever a civ acquires/loses a special
improvement.

+ Fix for an exploit that allowed players to build improvements more
cheaply/quickly than they should.

+ Lots of AI tweaks to improve social handlings, particularly for the
Terran Alliance AI.

MoSe
07-03-2006, 08:06:29
Originally posted by Darkstar
This game rocks.
Now, how might this game rock?
Well, for those of you that played GC1, let's just say that Star Dock has stuck in the big "Wish List" items.
...
They've changed how they handle worlds. Now, worlds are no longer the generic "Civ city" where you build "one of each building" on them. Instead, each world has a number of tiles, and you fill those up with whatever you want. Want the world to be a massive research center? Fill it up with labs. You want it to be a printing press of money? Fill it up with banks. You want it to be a crazed ship making machine? Fill it up with lots of factories. Very nice.

Fleets! You can now stick a bunch of ships together into a single combat unit, a fleet. This means that it isn't the biggest hull that wins, but rather the best combat unit.


unfortunately, I've not had the time and HW resources to get into new games, in the last years, and Iwon't have soon.

I content of your reports and work with imagination.

My limited contribution can be this: to put some things into perspective.

I'm sure this game rocks, however the features you report above as a step up in this version, are just the adoption of features from previous games, on the scenes since a few years, so nothing, new, nor original or groundbreaking :)

For instance, the two above are EXACTLY what SpaceEmpries has (version IV Gold, or SEIVG, didn't have the previous ones), and that's NOT a recent game....

same with:
Originally posted by Darkstar
This game may get you to retire MoO2. Same basic sort of game.

GC2 does not have any tactical battling. The Lead on GC2 is of the opinion that tactical combat in a TBS game is a crutch to let the players be lazy and not have to utilize any real strategy to win. There is a battle viewer that shows a 3D battle between your ships and the aliens, letting you see how your ships do at every stage of battle resolution. But there is not telling what to do. Still, it can be interesting to watch, and it really helps you see what works, what doesn't, and how to fine tune your death machines to be better killers.

SEIVG had tactical battle, but what you describe above it's EXACTLY what Stars! had, and that game is even older (let's just say that chagarra played it! ;))

On a side note, it's very true that for instance in SEIVG I make up for my lack of strategical planning by exploiting the AI weakness in tactical combat. But without it, like in Stars!, you don't "fine tune your death machines to be better killers", you have to learn to strategically plan a war machine that you know will be lead on the field by an idiot auomatic commander... and adapt it to the dumb ways it will be used in ;)

___
In summary, I dind't intend to bash or belittle anything, considering I only know the game from your reports.
I'm glad if new games come out that use chunks of what good existed around.

It's just that when I see ad shouts like "Better game! new features!", I can't help thinking it would be more correct to admit:
"We took battle feature straight from game A, planet management concept from game B, ship design from game C, because we think they were the best that had come out in the past, and we hope that we can mix them in the right way, adding our global design and vision of what a good game should be..."

Venom
07-03-2006, 13:03:48
You get to shut up until you actually play the game.

Chris
07-03-2006, 13:19:47
Now that I have an idea of how to make ships based on what Kitty and DS said, I see teh value of all those little techs.

What a difference.

Nav
07-03-2006, 13:49:18
Repeat: "I don't want this game, I don't want this game, I don't want this game".

Maybe I'll be able to hold out to oh christmas or something...

Funko
07-03-2006, 16:44:05
It's only £17.99 on play so I might just get it now whilst it's cheap.

Funko
07-03-2006, 16:47:57
Also 17.99 on amazon with the free super saver delivery

HelloKitty
07-03-2006, 20:11:39
Originally posted by Chris
Now that I have an idea of how to make ships based on what Kitty and DS said, I see teh value of all those little techs.

What a difference.

Yeah, if you don't make your own ships, this game blows. If you want ships to show up in your first real game, start up a game witht he smallest map possible, 1 opponent, easiest difficulty, and turn off all victories except research, set research to max speed (5x i think).

Colonize a few planets, set them all for research, and tear your way through the tech tree.

At various points stop and make a few ships. That way you have some stock ships set up for when you play the game for real.

Personaly I just make a new ship every time I need one.

There are some other thngs that could be better explained in the tech tree but overall, if you get the building thing, you understand the jist of it.

And Mose, it is a game that has tons of features from all different games. When it comes down to it, the game is a cross between STARS! and MoO2, with some extra stuff thrown in and a pretty UI.

They really just took all the best things out of most of the games and put them together. They do need to add a few more QOL things but its not a "new" game. its a game that is supposed to be the epitome of the genre.

Darkstar
07-03-2006, 23:07:07
MoSe, what was the last game you played that had truly new ideas and features? Populous? Pacman? Space Invaders? Pong?

As we'd expect out of any *new* game, GC2 doesn't offer anything truly new to computer gaming, but it does offer new things to the SF TBS gamers, especially the GC fan-base (ie, the new planet development system). Just as Civ4 doesn't have anything new to offer players, other then a better arrangement of features, after all.

Well, there is *one* new thing in GalCiv2 that I cannot recall being in any other game I've ever played. The Ship Builder. As in, you build your ships via a lego system. Not just fill in the math (ala MoO) or fill in the empty slotage (ala Acsendancy). There's been numerous request already from the SF amature devs who are desperate to have it broken out as its own little thing. The whole ship modelling was made to be easily moddable (by those into that sort of thing). There are definate Star Wars and Star Trek mods on the way...

So yeah, there is something very new in this game MoSe. Not completely new to 3D modellers (they've been able to put together there own space ship models from modelled parts for many years), but new to the gaming scene. AFAIK, anyways.

Deacon
08-03-2006, 03:15:46
It sounds like the requirements are a bit high for my 2002 era graphics card, but I could get the game first and see how it goes. I like SE4's cheap colony ships better than the expensive colony ships of MOO2, so if they're reasonbly quick to build in Galciv 2, I'll be a happy sprawling camper. Slowing it down could be more interesting in that it would penalize the player for choosing planets indiscriminately.

I'll have to see how automated combat works out. I'll be happy if the AI doesn't do stupid things. I'll have to play to figure out what's stupid. :)

HelloKitty
08-03-2006, 04:02:59
You can make your own colony ships, some with very low cost but very very slow.

Later in the game with the right miniturizaion, you can use very small ships to make colony shipsusing small frames and almost no cost.

Darkstar
08-03-2006, 16:57:00
Automated combat is actually pretty decent. Each attacker starts emptying their weapons, one at a time, into the strongest enemy ship (that they can easily kill). If that ship blows up but the attackers have more shots left, they move on to the next ship. Once they are done, the defenders do the same thing.

Concentration of firepower to remove the biggest set of guns that are most vulnerable to you--- that's a very good strategy.

Now, what's that really mean? I am just in love with "Small" ship frames. I can pack a lot of missiles onto them, and they are cheap and quick to make. In the beginning, my small missile ships have a big solitary missile bay on it. Later on, when I've refined missiles a couple of times, I can pack two bays on those small hulls. Mind you, it's just the two missile bays and some sensors or maybe a big engine, but since these guys are my "grunts", mass produced, it's alright by me. (Besides, I can and do design special units for special roles). When I first start upgrading my combat fleets, I might end up with 1 newer double bay fighter and 2 or 3 single bayers. In combat, the enemy invariable shoots at the double bayer first, because it's the strongest (heaviest hitting) easily killed (low defenses) ship in the fleet. Now, isn't that what you'd do, seeing that fleet?

MoSe
08-03-2006, 17:49:27
Originally posted by Darkstar
Automated combat is actually pretty decent. Each attacker starts emptying their weapons, one at a time, into the strongest enemy ship (that they can easily kill). If that ship blows up but the attackers have more shots left, they move on to the next ship. Once they are done, the defenders do the same thing.

Concentration of firepower to remove the biggest set of guns that are most vulnerable to you--- that's a very good strategy.


wot? that's ONE strategy!
can't you set different target priorities, and different engagement rules, for each ship model/class, depending on its purpose, so that you can have SEVERAL customised strategies fit for every situation and necessity, just like Stars! and SE4 do????

;)

Darkstar
08-03-2006, 18:01:18
Nope. Brad says that's too much micro-management. :) He hates MM, so combat stays simple. But then, there is no retreat, so its not like ships can do much other then fight on. Giving players options without a retreat threshold means the most you could possibly do is say "All ships blast that superstar destroyer! Ignore the stuff you can easily kill, High Command will mop those up after the superstar destroyer is dead!" Or "Blast all troop transports before engaging the fighting enemy craft!". Admitted, those would actually be useful strategies at times, but can you imagine how loud the howls for full tactical control would be if Stardock gave you options like that? The forums are already full of players going "This combat stinks! Why isn't there a tactical layer where I can exploit the hell out of the AI and make up for my completely lazy ass and total lack of strategic thought?"

Trust me! It got bad in the beta when Stardock first gave us the battle viewer. Right after the battle viewer build, and half of the beta tester were bitching about not having any control and wanting it so they could just exploit the AI and forget about ever having to do anything strategic in the game. Spoilt, lazy bastards. ;)

Chris
08-03-2006, 21:06:06
Well, you can always rush to ground assault, and buy transports, tried that yesterday, took out four major civs early.

Darkstar
09-03-2006, 03:26:06
Well, the Drengin used to rush for ground assault, and mass produce transports. But a couple of builds before Brad's "Human versus Drengin Wars", they got changed to "something more reasonable".

Until worlds start dropping Orbital Fleet Manager, it's trivial to break down a world's defense. Making the best world defense being to launch some orbital defenders, fleet them, and kill the invaders. A choice military starbase to boost your defenders is always very nice. I don't know when the AI is going to be taught that. If its soon, that will close out the transport rush. If it is later, more people will be doing the transport rush.

:hmm: Of course, the AI does have a natural defense against the transport rush. The AI likes to run for weapons early enough. If you don't get transports quick enough, it will have the ships to chase down your transports. And if you just went straight for transports, your own fighting navy is much weaker then theirs. So I've found that the transport rush only works on certain map types.

Chris
09-03-2006, 04:50:24
My review is done, I sent it in before, I'll also send a copy to Nav for posting on CG.

Deacon
09-03-2006, 06:03:30
So I take it there's no boarding. Not that I do it that much, but sometimes it's fun to capture an enemy ship if I can easily pay the maintenance, command points, etc.

Concentrated firepower. That's pretty much what I like to do. I also try to use time and distance (speed) to my advantage. Particularly in SE4, good combat speed and "to hit" modifiers are hard to beat. The enemy has to get close, while I can keep him at arm's length and grind him down.

In MOO2 and SE4, point defense easily wipes out missiles and fighters. In SE4 and MOO2, standard shields and armor work against everything until shield bypassing weapons, IIRC. For those reasons, I heavily favor large batteries of beam weapons. Since the defensive techs in Galciv 2 vary in effectiveness against particular weapons, I might actually have to use combined arms. :)

Chris
09-03-2006, 06:15:29
There is no tactical combat.

You engage and the AI takes over.

Deacon
11-03-2006, 09:59:37
Bought Galciv 2 on Thursday. The graphics look great. I'm having lots of fun, but I'm still figuring out what I'm doing. Tiny universe, dumb AIs.