Galactic Civilizations III Hex-all

ZaneRockfist wrote:

I'll never pre-order a Stardock game again after Elemental. That game burned me hard.

Yet Stardock stuck by it and turned it into a reasonable game in the end. I never paid anything extra, either.

I never really got into GalCiv 1 or 2, despite trying both. Not sure why. They ticked all the right boxes. Maybe GalCiv 3 will strike a chord. I'll be getting it for sure once it releases.

Moggy wrote:

I never really got into GalCiv 1 or 2, despite trying both. Not sure why. They ticked all the right boxes. Maybe GalCiv 3 will strike a chord. I'll be getting it for sure once it releases.

My thought on GalCiv 2 is that it's MOO2 without the charm/pizazz. Kinda forgettable music/sound/visuals, uninspired race designs, little lore. But it's a rock-solid game design.

You guys should really, really get Twilight of the Arnor. Lots more lore, pre-made ship designs, and better faction design.

I think my old roommate did something similar with GC1, paid a lot of money to be in the beta and get the game. This was something like 2001.

Personally I have not like any of the GC games, I may check out III though. Overall the space 4x genre has to move past MOO2 and I do not think the GC games do this.

Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

I think my old roommate did something similar with GC1, paid a lot of money to be in the beta and get the game. This was something like 2001.

Personally I have not like any of the GC games, I may check out III though. Overall the space 4x genre has to move past MOO2 and I do not think the GC games do this.

That's curious. One of the complaints commonly leveled at GC is that it's not enough like MOO2. If anything it's closer to Civ.

LarryC wrote:
Flintheart Glomgold wrote:

I think my old roommate did something similar with GC1, paid a lot of money to be in the beta and get the game. This was something like 2001.

Personally I have not like any of the GC games, I may check out III though. Overall the space 4x genre has to move past MOO2 and I do not think the GC games do this.

That's curious. One of the complaints commonly leveled at GC is that it's not enough like MOO2. If anything it's closer to Civ.

To me it is trying "just enough" to be different. I never found any of the mechanics too innovative.

I know that it has a good following though and I'm sure (really) that it is warranted .

In my opinion, GalCiv2 was different from MOO2 in all the wrong ways.

Lead designer for GalCiv3 Paul Boyer was on the last episode of Three Moves Ahead.

GalCiv was okay, and it had very strong AI, but I never fundamentally liked it that well, because the game doesn't change that much from beginning to end.

In most of the other 4X space games, new technologies are a very big deal, often giving you great leaps forward in capabilities. In fact, most of the 4X games can be said to be about technology, to the point that running a science-focused race (eg. Psilons in the MOOs) is often one of the strongest strategies. Succeeding generations of technology frequently change the game in dramatic ways. The Repulsor Beam in MOO1 is an excellent example of a tectonic shift, where you can suddenly render huge stacks of enemy units largely ineffective.

GalCiv isn't like that. It's not really a game about technology. It's more a game about economics. Science matters, but it's not the focus in the same way. Most tech advances are small, and expensive. You don't progress all that quickly, and mostly it's doing the same stuff, but with bigger numbers. (move a little faster, hit a little harder, thicken up your armor a bit.) In some ways, this is good, because it allowed Mr. Wardell to make truly challenging, fair opponents in the game. The GalCiv AI is excellent. But, at the same time, it makes the game rather bland. The only really major tech advance I remember is the advent of Doom Stars, and I never found them all that useful. They're very late game, and very expensive, and just never really mattered much, in my experience.

So, if they follow their old design principles, it will be very solid, and the AI will probably kick you around for quite awhile. But it probably won't have anything that really stands out, either. There just isn't anything really exciting in their tech model, not like Repulsor Beams or Black Hole Generators or Subspace Teleporters from MOO1.

You never really get any fun toys to play with, which is much of why I played GalCiv2 for a few weeks, way back when, and then never picked it up again. I still play MOO1 and 2 sometimes, and they're much older.

That isn't true of GalCiv2, Malor. It was possible in GalCiv2 to create a single, invincible ship that can take on infinite amounts of fleets and not die. It was simply not tied to a single tech. You had to figure out how to do it, and then assemble the techs and the manufacturing prowess to make them.

Twilight of the Arnor also featured faction-specific techs and buildings. That made the play significantly different from faction to faction.

An extreme case of this was the Arcean faction in ToA, which never got anything above basic warp drives. This made it ponderously difficult to invade enemy space unless you managed to finagle a normal warp engine from another faction, which they were naturally careful not to give you!

The thing with MoO2 is that once you figure out how to win on most maps on Impossible with every faction, it becomes rather bland.

It was possible in GalCiv2 to create a single, invincible ship that can take on infinite amounts of fleets and not die.

Well, I didn't get that far into it, but I bet that happened via big numbers, not by being exciting or interesting in some way.

There were two ways to do it. One was with big numbers. The other was through temporary offense/defense mismatch. The big numbers way was similar to getting powerful tech in MoO1. The second way was more like getting Shield 3 and Shield Capacitors within the frame of opportunity for invasion in MoO2.

This latter way was more possible for the "good" alignment options since those opened up powerful defensive techs.

But invincible ships was not the only way to make war.

Another way was to create starbase-mediated attack lanes that made your ships much, much faster. This way, you only ever need to engage planetary defenses. So long as you can defeat the orbital defenses, you can take enemy planets while their ships were still in transit. You can even set up sneaky Warp Indiction zones just to make it that much harder for their ships to get anywhere.

Even in a tech mismatch, you can bleed the enemy's economy dry by targeting his economic centers and launching attacks on his trading routes. You don't actually have to win a fleet battle. You just make it too expensive for him to maintain his fleets.

Because of the way the economy is put together, wars and techs for waging war are inherently more interesting, IMO, than in either MoO game, both of which I played extensively.

As much as I love the GalCiv series, I sit somewhere between the two of you. I can totally see where Malor is coming from and Larry you're not really countering him by saying

LarryC wrote:

There were two ways to do it. One was with big numbers. The other was through temporary offense/defense mismatch. The big numbers way was similar to getting powerful tech in MoO1. The second way was more like getting Shield 3 and Shield Capacitors within the frame of opportunity for invasion in MoO2.

Shield 3 is the sort of thing Malor is trying to avoid because it's bland.

I'm right there with you about there being multiple paths to victory in GalCiv2 and some of the examples are why I too prefer GalCiv2 over the MOO series. For me, I rarely ever focus on combat.

I hated the 3 weapon types/3 shield types system of GalCiv and Endless Space.

Yeah, I don't like Rock, Paper, Scissors as a combat mechanic *at all*. It was my big objection to, um, I think it was Empire Earth.

edit: although, now that I think about it, it might just be three kinds of separate armor, rather than the RPS setup in EE. It's been a long time since I played GC2.

Malor wrote:

edit: although, now that I think about it, it might just be three kinds of separate armor, rather than the RPS setup in EE. It's been a long time since I played GC2.

Yeah, it's not RPS, just three diff types. Three arbitrary types.

Yeah, I don't like Rock, Paper, Scissors as a combat mechanic *at all*. It was my big objection to, um, I think it was Empire Earth.

And I agree with this also. RPS is easy to balance gameplay with, but it's not terribly interesting to play.

garion333 wrote:

As much as I love the GalCiv series, I sit somewhere between the two of you. I can totally see where Malor is coming from and Larry you're not really countering him by saying

LarryC wrote:

There were two ways to do it. One was with big numbers. The other was through temporary offense/defense mismatch. The big numbers way was similar to getting powerful tech in MoO1. The second way was more like getting Shield 3 and Shield Capacitors within the frame of opportunity for invasion in MoO2.

Shield 3 is the sort of thing Malor is trying to avoid because it's bland.

I'm right there with you about there being multiple paths to victory in GalCiv2 and some of the examples are why I too prefer GalCiv2 over the MOO series. For me, I rarely ever focus on combat.

Shield 3 was from MoO2, not GalCiv2. The significance of Shield 3 and Shield Capacitors was that they're both in the same tier of research in shields so it's normally impossible to get both. You can as Psilon. If you can finagle a good production planet at about the same time you acquire both technologies, you can invade other faction territories with fair impunity. The other way to get them both was to trade aggressively and get both of them that way. That will also give you a window for invasion.

The strategic approaches I detailed before were not different approaches to the game. That's a lot more complex. The strategems I described were purely wartime strategies.

You can bleed an enemy's coffers and then swarm him down with inferior fleets.
You can hit his production planets and win through attrition.
You can slow down his fleets and race through his colonies with a blitz.
You can build a technologically superior fleet and win in a single, large confrontation.
Hit his trading lanes and partners and bog down his economy in a low conflict war.

Lots of ways to win a war. Lots of techs to use to leverage particular strategies. MoO was never as rich in terms of warfare.

Yeah, it's not RPS, just three diff types. Three arbitrary types.

Technically, there were also a few types or arbitrary attack/defense in MoO2 as well, though the watersheds and breakpoints for each kind of attack were a lot more random.

Off the cuff, I'd classify the attack types as Beam, Missile, Special, and Troop; with corresponding defenses. It's more flavorful to fiddle with them in terms of the spreadsheet design screen and such, but broadly, it wasn't really that much different from what GalCiv2's system did, it was a lot less even, and the AI didn't handle them nearly as well.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, I don't like Rock, Paper, Scissors as a combat mechanic *at all*. It was my big objection to, um, I think it was Empire Earth.

edit: although, now that I think about it, it might just be three kinds of separate armor, rather than the RPS setup in EE. It's been a long time since I played GC2.

If you play it again with a fresh outlook and with Twilight of the Arnor expansion, you might be surprised. Maybe. Give it a go if you have some time. With ToA, I consider it superior to MoO2.

I'm pretty sure Malor did play with Arnor because he mentioned the Terror/Death Stars.

LarryC wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Shield 3 is the sort of thing Malor is trying to avoid because it's bland.

I'm right there with you about there being multiple paths to victory in GalCiv2 and some of the examples are why I too prefer GalCiv2 over the MOO series. For me, I rarely ever focus on combat.

Shield 3 was from MoO2, not GalCiv2.

Oops. Been a while since I played either.

This puzzles me. Each of the factions in MoO2 were distinct. To win at Impossible requires leveraging their unique attributes in inspiring ways. For instance, Sakkra's Feudal, large populations, and great expansion means you can make up the basic science shortfall simply by building a gigantic fleet equipped with science-producing Scout Labs.

That said, the journey through the tech tree was very similar for all the factions in pretty much every game. Certain situations called for certain tech choices at each decision point, and the factors rarely diverged that much.

In ToA, each faction's entire economy worked differently, and their unique Super Abilities added on top of that, and the unique faction tech trees differentiated them even more. The descriptions may not have been very colorful, but the distinct gameplay style differences more than made up the shortfall, IMO. Having to crawl through space at 2 spaces per turn in the late game because your scientists don't grok warp technology when your enemies are blazing through your colonies at 10 per turn is a pretty stiff challenge.

Yeah, people are already coming up with some cool ship designs even though the ship designer just came out.

Looks like they've been doing streams weekly. Here's today's:

More on the Stardock Games channel.

The alpha is over, and the beta is here. If you were one of the early Founders then you will now have access to the beta now.

Highlights of the beta include:

Race-specific tech trees – Each race discovers the secrets of creation in its own way. Look out for Drengin invasions a whole age before anyone else can pull one off.

-Ideology rework – Get an entire invasion fleet for free, take control of all planets inside your sphere of influence, and more!
-Huge hulls – For when you absolutely, positively, have to kill every last filthy alien in the quadrant.
-New colonization events – Thirty more events will challenge your ideology whenever you bring the light of civilization to a new world.
-Terraforming – Maximize your adjacency bonuses by filling in gaps on your colonies with SCIENCE!
-Map features – Durantium, Elerium, and Antimatter are now on the map, waiting to be harvested by your starbases. Watch out for black holes!
-So much more – reworked planet traits, shipyard queues, automatic improvement upgrading, tons of new art, vastly improved rendering (ships are so shiny now!), the list goes on.

Let me know if you're in the beta and what you think.

Sweet, I will fire that up this weekend. The Steam versions automatically patch, yes?

Michael wrote:

Sweet, I will fire that up this weekend. The Steam versions automatically patch, yes?

Yep, unless you have auto-updating turned off.

Interested in how the beta is going for people who have it. Now that the $100 founders pricing has gone it's tempting to jump in.

IMAGE(http://draginol.stardock.net/Derek/GC3Beta3-1.png)

Beta 3 is up.

Weak fleshlings beware, the Yor Singularity has arrived!

Beta 3 adds everyone’s favorite synthetic sociopaths, who laugh at the idea of feeding their colonists or worrying about growth rates. Need more population? Just build some new units to augment the Singularity’s physical capabilities. Simple.

Also included in Beta 3 are big-moment cinematics done by our in-house team to mark occasions like your first capital ship launched or first colony founded, and our first pass at combat animations including visible damage states for starships.

We’ve also dropped in unique art for many events, made the UI reflect your empire’s color (GalCiv III is approximately 62% less blue, on balance), added a ton of (perfectly realistic) sound effects to many objects in space, completely overhauled balance, and much more.

Read the full patch notes here: http://forums.galciv3.com/459763

Thanks for helping us beta test Galactic Civilizations III! Please drop us your feedback and bug reports on the Steam forums or official boards, and swing by our weekly livestream (Fridays at 3pm Eastern) to get a sneak peek of the latest build and ask lead designer Paul Boyer your questions.

Happy conquering!

Just wanted to mention that Beta 4 is out today. Includes the battle viewer, gigantic and immense maps, ideology revamp, extreme worlds, and more.

Extreme worlds extend the colonization race throughout the game by unlocking valuable new worlds with advanced technology. Every colony is precious, so you'll have to make the tough decisions between racing for the techs that let you land on these rich new planets and all of the other directions you can focus your research in.

The Ideology revamp dramatically changes that whole system. Now you progress down five different branches of each ideology, going deep or wide or some combination of the two. How does finding hidden planets, or adding a free fighter escort to every fleet sound? Sounds like it's time to beeline some ideological improvements, that's what. Oh, and the ideology screen is just slightly prettier than the old version.

Gigantic and Immense map sizes are our biggest yet. There should probably be a prize for winning one of these monsters before the game comes out. Of course, there's still Insane to come...

And of course, the battle viewer is in. Pause, replay, and play with several camera modes to get the best angle on the sweet, sweet flaming death your fleets launch at the enemy. It is not interactive; Galactic Civilizations III is a game about huge space empires, not battle tactics.

Patch notes

So, looks like this game is on 50% off sale this weekend. I'm highly tempted to jump in now, but it is still in early access, which I tend to avoid. Has anybody been playing this recently, and care to give their 2 cents on how far along it is?