The second open test week (well, 10 days) is here, and the game is eminently playable, so I figured I'd start a thread for it. Release pushed from, well, today to August 17, so pre-order is the only way to get into the tests at this point.

Any thoughts?

If someone reports back that it’s good I’d consider buying and jumping in quickly.

Can't say that yet, and of course this session is designed to test new Naval code and design elements. It's not the whole game by any means. But so far, it's a nice mix of Civ and Endless games, with a new era progression mechanic (or at least a *wider* set of progression possibilities).

We're supposed to be able to watch 3 hours of Twitch videos from official streamers to get access to the OpenDev, but it's not working for me. After 3 hours there should be a Twitch drop that once claimed, triggers a Game2gether gift, that grants access to the opendev on Steam. I've had videos playing overnight and today while doing other things, but no Twitch drop for me.

Edit: OK, now I'm making progress on the Twitch drop to get access to the opendev. I had to pick a live stream.

OK, I got access to the OpenDev via 'watching' Twitch streams. Finally downloading.

This looks like it has some pretty cool systems. War support seems interesting. I met another Civ and they eventually proposed a treaty. The next turn one of their armies attacked mine. It looks like skirmishes are ‘OK’ even at peace at this point. but, it gave me the ability to create a demand (which I did). This is ongoing until they meet my demand (pay $100). Now I have enough war support to declare war without penalties.

I also like how a population unit is used to create a military unit. Also my unit was maimed in battle, which lowers it’s combat strength, until I can get it back into friendly territory.

I don’t have a ton of confidence they will create an AI that can play the game, but hopefully there will be enough ‘resistance’ to make these systems needed and interesting.

Other than wondering if the AI will put up an interesting challenge, the other concern I have so far is that it feels like it may be a little light on technologies and wonders. Also, the techs that are there seem like it is just another small food, industry, money, science bonus. I'm tempted to grab it before I lose my Humble Choice discount when I pause tonight, but I still have some worries. Parts do seem promising and I am having fun so far.

I'm very much in the "you go first" camp on this one. It talks a good game and has nice spiffy ads, but my Spidey sense is tingling.

I hope I'm wrong. The concept and ideas are strong.

I got cold feet and decided not to get it right now. I've still got more time in the OpenDev to play around with it.

I can't play the limited demo (ish) because I am unable to link my Steam account. I typed in the wrong pw and now saying I need to wait..3 days now...

Oh, wow, Amplitude is actually taking Civilization straight on?

So, what are they doing that's different? Cause it looks hella similar.

It's very similar in spirit to Civ. Some differences are that you claim regions and then settle a city in that region. Creating units uses population. You mix and match factions as you progress through the ages. Choices you make move your civ along a scale in 5 categories - like tradition vs science, autocracy vs freedoms, etc...

Their system for exploiting the land is a bit different than civ.

It definitely has some elements from the other series out there, besides Civ. Endless, Age of Wonders, both come to mind. And they do say this is not the complete game at all; they are definitely holding stuff back.

I'm actually pretty optimistic on this one.

Robear wrote:

It definitely has some elements from the other series out there, besides Civ. Endless, Age of Wonders, both come to mind. And they do say this is not the complete game at all; they are definitely holding stuff back.

I'm actually pretty optimistic on this one.

I'm a bit leery of the delays in launch, and wonder if Sega will make them release before the game is ready.

The delays in launch also make me wonder if there's stuff that just isn't working out. The design challenge is substantial. Make a game as good as Civ6 but different enough from it that people won't label it a clone and just go back to Civ6. That's a tall order to get right on a first iteration.

It'd be awesome to have some fresh thinking in this area though, and they've got good pedigree for taking something like this on.

So yeah, "hopeful but skeptical" is my camp at the moment.

Amplitude and delays don't mean much to me. Their iteration process has always involved plenty of testers and the like, so it feels more fluid to me.

garion333 wrote:

Amplitude and delays don't mean much to me. Their iteration process has always involved plenty of testers and the like, so it feels more fluid to me.

Oh, that's good to hear!


The game releases today. Anyone jumping in on it?

My PC-specs are close to the minimum requirements, so I'm skipping for now, but I'm curious to hear what others have to say.

I snagged it, although it may be a couple days before I can jump in. The idea of a 4x game (with Amplitude's polish) that gives me a lot more flexibility in my civ's focus throughout the game really interests me. The reviews seems to be in the 7-8 range, with the general thoughts being that it has some good ideas, but it's not a total revolution, which is unsurprising. Explorminate, a 4x focused site/podcast, absolutely in love with it, though.

Its up on gamepass and available to download now.

I hope to get a few hours in via gamepass later this evening. If past 4xs are any guide, the middling reviews probably mean that it'll need a few patches before it hooks me, but that's fine.

I am going to play it some tonight too. Will post some thoughts if I have any.

Welp, it goes past two splash screens and into a black loading screen, and crashes. I guess I'll do the check files thing.

Steam let me preload. Then had an "update" yesterday. But when I left for the office this morning still had another "update".

This plus what you said Robear makes me uneasy.

Ah, there's a note in the game info screens that reminds you to get rid of Users/username/Documents/Humankind folder if you participated in Alpha or Beta. That fixed it.

Tboon, there is always that last little unlock update on release day. Nothing to worry about.

Robear wrote:

Tboon, there is always that last little unlock update on release day. Nothing to worry about.

I know. It's that first update that made me uneasy. I had about an hour to play tonight, I did not enjoy the prospect of maybe dealing with download/verify files/install nonsense or a bunch of bugs. Which I did not, I am glad to say.

Well I'm not sure if this was a mistake on my part, but the default tutorial game is started have no victory conditions. It was on endless mode. Figured that out after about 200 turns. Really took the wind out of my sales.

Some thoughts on it. It has a lot of cool things go for it. The esthetic and culture stuff is really nice. It's like a much more modern civ. Early game is more interesting too with the tribal portions and ages. Over the whole game is solid but there's a couple oddities. *this got way longer then I thought*

Your cities will constant be starving, because they grow without any control. So the starve, grow back, then starve again. Every turn getting spammed by these messages. The message spam is pretty bad later on.

Tech tree is weird too. Doesn't feel like a realistic tree. I got to the modern age without electricity. Not that I could really use it. Resources like iron, copper, etc are really rare. There was a dozen buildings I couldn't use cause of this. Much less have a full gun powder army.

Religion was neat but really shallow. Functionally doesn't do much after you max it out. Which I did fairly quickly. Course then I set it to atheist which made me lose a everything I built...

When the narrator talks its really good, but there's not a lot of it. Mostly in ages and wonders. Nothing with techs which I liked in civ games. Cut scenes were quite good too.

The diplomacy system is rather nice. Has this good give and take as you argue with everyone. Accusing them of crossing your borders and demanding cash. It still rather simple but I like it much more then any of the civ games.

The combat system is a little clunky but really good. Like a very light version of endless legend. Removes the mess of the one unit tile issue but keeps the depth. Really good system. I think I only wish it was a bigger scale. Then again I did mostly auto resolve.

The change nations every age was actually quite cool. It does make it less unique. That said being able to compete to see who gets what is great too. Production based everything seems to be the most powerful.

Overall a solid game. It did give me that one more turn push. not sure about longevity though. Still who knows.

Random thoughts:

I really like the way the game starts. In Civ, the question is generally do you settle in place and get everything started immediately or make one move and then settle next turn. They expanded that single decision into ~10 turns where you're scouting around looking for a good place to settle. It works really well.

Speaking of settling, I also like the outpost system. There are parts of the map that you want to claim in order to keep other people out, but aren't really attractive city sites themselves. Being able to put an outpost there and at some later point either add it to an existing city or turn it into its own city is really clever. I tanked my first game by taking some regions in a peace treaty after a war and immediately turning said regions into cities. Turns out there's a (soft) limit to the number of cities your civ can handle at any given time and if you go over that you kill your influence, which makes it hard to do other stuff.

The culture switching/building mechanic is neat, but after going through a few of them, I'm worried that all the options available are really just going to result in endgame cultures that fit within a real narrow band of possibilities. One of the things I liked best about Civ V (and something I feel like they toned down in VI, though I haven't played all the civs in that version) was how with the right start and some good early-game choices, you could have a civ that felt game-breaking even if it wasn't. In a single-player game, that sort of imbalance is fun, but I worry that none of the cultures you create will be that unique.

I popped the 'Be first to exit era after being last to enter it' achievement last night, which was neat except that I was neither the first to exit the era nor the last to enter it (entered 3rd, exited 2nd).

The linear tech tree is disappointing after the experimental stuff they did in Endless Legend and Endless Space.

The game sure looks nice, both the map and animations. I do hope that there's a skip animations toggle though. I generally make it ~3 games in any given 4x before I'm done watching my scout slowly moving to the next hex. I disable combat animations in Civ, too, though maybe not in this one because...

The tactical combat is alright, though I do wonder if late-game battles will end up being so big that they pull me out of the strategic game, which is what I'm here for. I'd be happy to use auto-resolve exclusively if it didn't seem like the AI does much worse than I could do in any given battle.

Hmm, that ended up more negative sounding than I generally feel about the game. I guess my thoughts (at this point, and again, I've only played a few hours) can be boiled down to: I feel like they stuck too close to the Civ formula. That's fine -- I like Civ games -- but it feels like they could have brought more new stuff to the genre and instead decided to play it safe. It's probably not the worst decision they could have made -- this will likely sell much better than Endless Legend did -- but it's slightly disappointing nonetheless.

This is really good so far - better than I had expected. I’m roughly ~150 turns in, up to the end of the medieval era.

Playing on Empire difficulty (5 out of 7 - I’d read advice that experienced 4X / strategy gamers should crank the difficulty up), the computer puts up a tough fight. It’s much more bellicose than I expected - two different AI players started three wars against me, including an early-game rush that made me fight for my life. What I’m not sure yet is how well the AI judges relative strengths - that first rush cleverly took advantage of my neglecting the military; the second war was … not so smart (the depleted empire that started the first war came back for a rematch, even though I was now much larger and stronger); and the third war was a giant frontier clash against an intact empire with a large army.

I still need to work out how the economic “engine” works. This kind of game is usually about finding and exploiting synergies, until you get a virtuous cycle of more food/science/gold/production -> more pops and better buildings -> more food/science/gold/production. How do I accomplish that given the districts, infrastructure, and territories system in this game? I’ll have to find out.

The combat seems solid enough. You want strong melee units in front, and archers - who have a long range, 3 hexes - behind. I really like the freespawn militia system ( this is what saved me during the first war!) and the way sieges gradually shift the advantage from the defender to the attacker over time, as the powerful siege engines go up. Choke points are important, and do help a defender against a numerically superior attacker. I do find it a bit unintuitive to read the terrain - it’s not clear to me which differences in elevation can be traversed by units.

I like the culture system, and the way it plays into your objectives at any given moment. I started as the Zhou in the ancient era because science! Then when it became clear that I’d be locked in brutal wars, I quickly chose the Romans for the classical era because I needed the toughest fighters I could find. That paid off big time as the Roman unique units proceeded to steamroll my enemies. After that I went Byzantines in the medieval era (more for thematic reasons) and will probably pick up Joseon next to get back onto the science path.

Overall - very positive at this point. Humankind has the “just one more turn” magic backed by solid strategic gameplay. I’m looking forward to playing more and seeing what the late game has to offer.

I really like what I played so far as well. Has that one more turn aspect down hard.

Love how it looks too. And the UI design is top notch. I feel different playing the Endless game. The UI just feels so smooth. Hard to explain.

One thing I really wished for was a option to increase map scroll speed. It's so slow compared to other games.

Surprised not many people talking about this game yet. It's on Game Pass people! And it's addictively fun!