Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

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Four years later, the sequel arrives:

Ironclad wrote:
Stardock Entertainment and Ironclad Games are very pleased to announce the release of Beta 1 for all Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion pre-order customers!

This first beta will allow you to play as the TEC Loyalists or Rebels in either single-player or multiplayer via Ironclad Online or LAN. Also included in this first beta release:

Updated graphics engine with self-shadowing ships, up to 16X anisotropic filtering and more.
Updated weapon effects.
All the new technologies and balance of the TEC factions.
Construct the mighty TEC Loyalist Ankylon and TEC Rebel Ragnarov titans.
The new TEC Corsev battlecruiser capital ship and Stilat/Shriken corvettes.
Steam support for achievements, friends, game invites, automatic updates and more.
New ship movement system and performance optimizations.
and lots more!

The official Rebellion & Beta forum is located HERE.

Rebellion is a Steamworks game, but uses ICO for online play.

To clarify: This is a full, standalone sequel, and not an expansion of the original?

Michael wrote:
To clarify: This is a full, standalone sequel, and not an expansion of the original?

That is correct. This is essentially the original with all expansions rebuilt from the ground up with more content added on top of it all.

Neat. Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth on that forum regarding the Steam requirement... I'm already hip-deep in the Steam kool-aid so it's not a big deal for me, but I can understand the frustration.

Won't be in the beta, will be there day one for release. I think I'll be part of the rebel alliance an a traiter.

TAKE ME AWAY!

Well, this is about to use up a huge chunk of my already too-limited time.

Downloading.. Muhahaha.

Watch tag. Downloaded...

Also downloading. Saturday Sins, here we come?

Sweet! Just got my pre-order email. Downloading now.

Cool, can't wait to try this out this weekend

Seems like Sins 1.5 to me (from afar). I loooooooved the original release, but wasn't thrilled with how things went after that. Still, I looooooooved Sins.

Where did this come from? Didn't even realise there was going to be a sequel.

Also, the beta is available through Steam, but the full game doesn't appear in the Steam store?

Dammit, it's not going to use Steam for the matchmaking? The flaky multiplayer was the most frustrating part of an otherwise stellar game. I shudder to think at how many hours we wasted trying to get that connection working properly.

Caddrel wrote:
Also, the beta is available through Steam, but the full game doesn't appear in the Steam store?

Steam has a policy against selling beta software. You can buy it from Stardock and they give you a Steam code that gives you access to the beta.

Elycion wrote:
Caddrel wrote:
Also, the beta is available through Steam, but the full game doesn't appear in the Steam store?

Steam has a policy against selling beta software. You can buy it from Stardock and they give you a Steam code that gives you access to the beta.

Really? How did Red Orchestra 2 work then? Maybe it had something to do with pre-order policy and Steamworks.

Coldstream wrote:
Dammit, it's not going to use Steam for the matchmaking? The flaky multiplayer was the most frustrating part of an otherwise stellar game. I shudder to think at how many hours we wasted trying to get that connection working properly.

Steam matchmaking seems to work, or at least inviting your friends to your game from your Steam list works. Well as long as you do not have a password. It also does not appear to consider your Steam friends when setting up a friends only game, only the ICO friends. So it kinda uses Steam I guess.

Already experiencing sync issues, please go and perform the steps they ask for. Need to nip this bug quickly.

And minidump...

Just played the beta tonight with nimcosi, we had a list of bugs we encountered that nimcosi is submitting, but still good wholesome space fun.

Also made the change to my files, so if we get it again we can send our check sum

Will download when I get back home on Sunday.

Nimcosi wrote:

And minidump...

Man, this has been a problem for four years now...

Also as a side note. When I tried to add Nimcosi as a friend within the game, it tried to add him as a friend through steam (which he was). So I think they are in between the steam integration and the old online service and at the moment the game is serving two masters when it comes to who is controlling the online match making.

Caddrel wrote:
Where did this come from? Didn't even realise there was going to be a sequel.

Also, the beta is available through Steam, but the full game doesn't appear in the Steam store?

The beta is only available via Stardock to manage the beta better. It won't appear on other stores until release/near release.

Also, beta preview video

http://youtu.be/ZJa9GH7tiQQ

Looks great. I'm really digging the graphical overhaul. Will ships still stand still blasting away or will there be a bit more movement now?

From the sound at 0:36, there's Skype integration too

Moving turrets? I miss you, Homeworld!

Played through a quick comp stomp the other day with normal AI. Only the new TEC factions are available in the current beta. Here are my impressions/observations:

- The major differences between the sub-factions are mostly in technologies higher up in the tech tree as well as which Titan they get.
- Titans are super expensive. They take four techs (up to the middle of the tech tree), the Titan foundry logistic structure, 2 cap ship supply, 100 regular supply, and cost somewhere around 2-3 times the resources of a normal capital ship.
- Titans can get 4 active abilities, including an ultimate, and 3 passive abilities. They cannot however be leveled up with credits like other capital ships. The ultimate seems to require a higher level than level 6.
- The new corvette frigates are very cheap, cost 1 supply, and seem to roughly have the stats of a fighter. The TEC ones have the ability to impair phase jumping of enemy ships so having a few in your fleet can be helpful for doing more damage to retreating fleets.
- The new capital ship is kind of a new support ship with some weird abilities. Doesn't seem too useful compared to other TEC cap ships.
- These are probably changes from recent Sins: Diplomacy patches but it seems easier to get your relationship up with an AI now. I had full pacts with one of the AIs and I only sent about 3 envoy ships to him.
- The ability for TEC loyalists to get two starbases in a gravity well seems overpowered to me. It lets them get a ridiculous economy and a really strong defense. It's a very high tier defense tech though.
- The new victory conditions are mostly ways to get the game to end earlier. Quite a few of the AIs were defeated by losing their capital or their flagship. I did the technology victory which just involved researching a very slow and expensive tech at the top of the civilian tech tree. The AI didn't seem to know or care that I was researching it.
- As far as I can tell Moons are just like Asteroids but with a different graphic.

Overall my opinion is still that Sins: Entrenchment was a decently well balanced game for multiplayer but Diplomacy and now Rebellion have focused more on giving new toys for the 4X strategy fans to play around with against the AI. I think Rebellion may be better balanced than Diplomacy was, but many of the new features still just don't seem practical if you're playing against people. Also this is definitely not Sins 2, the core game is very much Sins and the new content will probably be on par with what Entrenchment and Diplomacy had combined.

I also have to say that this makes me a little bit nervous about Sins of a Dark Age since now I'm not sure Ironclad has the design sensibilities to compete with other competitive multiplayer action RPG developers.

Couple things also, the Titan foundry uses TACTICAL slots instead of logistical, odd for a shipyard but nice, and it uses up 12 of them, making it harder to defend the planet with a foundry. And the 4 techs are in the same tree (military I think) so you could possibly do it all on one planet by using all the logistics for that, but the cost would make that close to impossible. Also as a side note, the score board at end still only lists 5 capitals, so they have yet to add it in there. I dont know about the moons, it seems they have less resources than asteroids (like 2 instead of 3) but that could of been the map.

- These are probably changes from recent Sins: Diplomacy patches but it seems easier to get your relationship up with an AI now. I had full pacts with one of the AIs and I only sent about 3 envoy ships to him.

Whatever they needed to do to fix diplomacy. One of the core problems with diplomacy was that the timing of relationship points to the point where you could get pacts was basically broken as by the time you got them the game was over. You could even win a diplo victory with the diplo points before you got a basic pact or possibly level one which made no sense. I could go on about the other problems with diplomacy: bugs especialy the desynch bugs that had all but dissapeared in entrenchment, pirates, missions, insufficent team win conditions (only individual victory through diplomacy, fine as a mode of gameplay terrible as the only one) and especially how they promised a patch that didn't materialize for over a year. I really hope rebellion changes that for multiplayer, but entrenchment was always the gold standard for multiplayer.

The ability for TEC loyalists to get two starbases in a gravity well seems overpowered to me. It lets them get a ridiculous economy and a really strong defense. It's a very high tier defense tech though.

Ok that one is insane, anyone who understand the economy of sins knows that the econ modules in starbases and the main threshhold booster for your empire, doubling trade port modules per controlled system basically doubles that boost which essentially wins the late game, unless they put in econmic equalizers for the other factions, thats just nuts.

- As far as I can tell Moons are just like Asteroids but with a different graphic.

Sins is a great game but has always suffered from immersion problems. Stars feel more like galaxies, planets don't orbit their stars, the numbers and positions of planets relative to their stars and make more sense as solar systems. This could have been fixed by making the stars super massive black holes with nifty gravity effects and making the planet system full blown star systems with orbits and some logical planet positions, moons, asteroid fields, and orbits. Having an off scale for the solar systems would be a small price to pay Also making the ships move more in combat would have been really nice. Hopefully they will make a sins 2 one day and make immersion more of a priority.

- The new victory conditions are mostly ways to get the game to end earlier. Quite a few of the AIs were defeated by losing their capital or their flagship. I did the technology victory which just involved researching a very slow and expensive tech at the top of the civilian tech tree. The AI didn't seem to know or care that I was researching it.

As long as you can turn the victory conditions off this would be a welcome change.

Each victory condition can be toggled on/off when starting the game.

Played another game as the TEC rebels and noticed a few more things:
- The new corvette frigate is actually different for the rebels, this one interrupts repairs of enemy ships. Also I noticed that the corvettes fly around and attack like squadrons even though they're frigates, it's kind of cool. They're very fragile though and will get blown to bits if targeted. I think they have a low priority though for most enemies.
- Titans get two points to spend per level instead of one. That's why I thought they didn't get the ultimate at 6, but they do.
- AIs will use super weapons. This was a long requested feature and it's in there. I've lost a few colonies due to Novalith Cannon bombardment.
- The TEC rebels ability to ally with neutrals on the map currently breaks the occupation victory condition since you can't take the occupied planet over. This should probably get fixed.

Latrine wrote:

- Titans get two points to spend per level instead of one. That's why I thought they didn't get the ultimate at 6, but they do.

Right clicking your Titan to autoupgrade will generate a dump at this time. So do not be lazy, manually upgrade

Ok, was going through the beta forums and saw this, decided to post it here since it was some interesting info some guy found while playing (balancing issues and another difference between moons and everything else):

1: There are an awful lot of Novalith cannons now. I know it's given earlier now for the TEC Loyalists, but I was still surprised just how early I was having to deal with them watching my planets pop. And not only that, but the sheer number of them that were coming in. I managed to counter them.... well not really, I should say, I managed to find way to reduce/limit their toll on my planets. But basically, even though the Novalith guns are now all in a different galaxy from my own, there's a constant steady stream of endless shots heading for my galaxy. Now I understand that this could be regulated during single player games with some balancing, but as it stands, I can easily see this as becoming a spam tactic during multiplayer games. Could this be looked into for balancing, considering just how effective these cannons are.

2: While playing as the Rebels I found that once I researched to a certain diplomacy level, I started getting free pirates... At first I was like "cool" then I started to find it annoying. I was no longer able to set up my fleets the way I wanted to, because I was constantly getting new pirate ships that I didn't ask for. I was constantly having to scuttle pirate ships just so I could build the ships I actually wanted. I like the idea of being allied with the pirates. And I like the idea of being able to get and use pirate ships in my fleet. But I don't like how they just consistently and randomly appear in systems in sizable numbers literally taking up all of my fleet capacity preventing me from setting up my fleet the way I want to because I've received pirate ships I didn't ask for. As I said, I like the idea, but I would prefer if it worked more like the way the Dark Armada works for the Vasari. Having something in there that can be used to call for pirate reinforcements when and where I actually require them as opposed to the way it's set up now. Put simply, I would really like a little more control over this aspect of playing the TEC Rebels.

5: One question regarding moons. I've noticed that on all planets and asteroids, the maximum number of mines that can be deployed is 150. But on moons and moons alone, it's only 70 mines I can deploy. Is this intentional?

So, combined with the multiple star bases allowing a huge econ boost, and then the free pirates similar to the visari's free ships tech, I am guessing this could make long games become ridiculous.

also here is a reply:

1: There are an awful lot of Novalith cannons now.

I had both choke points double fortified with a roaming death squad and titan between them, there was no way for him to even try to counter my novaliths as rebel. I admit that 6000 is a bit to spend on one gun, but keep in mind the radiation so he cant colonize again right after it hits either.

2: While playing as the Rebels I found that once I researched to a certain diplomacy level, I started getting free pirates...

He had the same experience, I also noticed the pirate ships he was commanding seemed to loose all their pirate stats, IE: the ultra armor that the actual pirates had he did not seem to. He also rushed his titan and had very little put into fleet supply, I think it would be a good idea that the free pirate ships only be allowed to use up a percentage of your fleet supply instead of all of it, forcing you to scuttle most of your "fleet" to build what you want.

Ok, one more and then i will stop, really

1. Corvettes are so broken! I understand that they arent suppose to deal much damage and their intention is to be used to slow titans from attacking plus some harrasing. But they have serious issues in my mind. I launched 24 corvettes against my opponent within the first 3 minutes of the game. for a cost of about 2600 credits. (I didn't spend a dime on frigates) His homeworld is 6 jumps away from mine. my corvettes spent a good 5 minutes between his 3 worlds trashing his constructors and severely crippling his early game start. I'm not sure how advent or vasari deal with corvettes, but I know there's not much that he could do to stop them. Keep in mind I wasn't building more to assist my initial wave of them, I cant help but think this will be heavily spammed on ICO...

Island Dog wrote:
Caddrel wrote:
Where did this come from? Didn't even realise there was going to be a sequel.

Also, the beta is available through Steam, but the full game doesn't appear in the Steam store?

The beta is only available via Stardock to manage the beta better. It won't appear on other stores until release/near release.

Ah, fair enough. I was a big fan of the original Sins, so I may pick it up when it appears on Steam. I've been put off buying via Impulse and the Stardock client after reading Brad's comments in this thread.

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