Strategic eXpanse

Strategic eXpanse #21: The 4th X

10974417_1559103270997979_7872031335318013495_o (1) Join Rob, Nate, Troy and Dallin as they discuss the 4th X, eXtermination, and provide examples of games that both do it well and leave much to be desired. We also discuss ideas that we’d like to see developers consider in future games.

Show Notes:

6 replies »

  1. Another problem with Endless Space’s battle system is that when designing ships weapons could be either long range, medium range or melee. The problem is that each weapon did most damage at a certain range, I think it was missiles-long, beam-medium and kinetic-melee, so there was no reason to put beams at melee for example.

    And the retreat mechanic could be quite aggravating sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great job guys, enjoyed the podcast. So much high quality content lately, great work!!

    The AI in Hearthstone is actually really bad. As the complexity goes up with the adding of new cards and card interactions, the AI has become progressively worse. It’s not what Hearthstone is about so nbd, but I just wanted to note that.

    The concern I’d have about card combat being centrally featured in a 4x is that the developer could risk making the 4x gameplay irrelevant to the outcome of the battle. You wouldn’t want to earn a card that made every battle too easy or monotonous. And to provide a challenge, you may have to add some semblance of RNG to the card battles but then that would make for a frustrating time for the player if an easy battle was lost due to RNG…

    One thing that wasn’t mentioned about the Civ 5 combat method (1 unit per tile, strategic view battle) is that the elimination of the tactical view does provide a great pace to battle as well as keeps you doing other stuff in your empire while big battles play out. It also adds to the ‘preparation’ aspect of battle as you position your units to suit their strengths. While I think it absolutely has it’s weaknesses, I think there were a few positive points that were worth mentioning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great points! Also, didn’t know that about the Hearthstone AI. To be honest, aside from the mandatory AI battles, we haven’t played much single-player Hearthstone, which doesn’t surprise anyone, I’m sure.

      Thanks for the compliments! We’re working hard to continue to improve our quality and we’re eXtremely glad to see that some have noticed that!


    • Shmael,

      Thanks for listening! We’re so glad you enjoyed the show! You make an excellent point about Hearthstone’s AI. I wonder if Blizzard will be able to figure that out. Maybe they need a Watson computer, heh heh.

      Anyway, i don’t mind combat on the strategic level. It’s a legitimate design feature. What I don’t like is the 1 unit per tiler mechanic. If I want to invade someone in Civ V or Warlock, I gotta move a ton of units. If I want to invade someone in AoW, EL, WOM, etc., I just have to move one stack. It’s so much easier to manage and much less immersion-breaking IMHO.




  3. @ 28 mins, about AoW3 not being a “true” 4x because of the combat focus, surely it’s better to have a good focus and do that extremely well, rather than dilute your offering so nothing truly stands out (like your fave, EL).

    We can invert your argument here as well, by saying that as EL has such terrible combat and such shitty extermination (and really, it does. It’s a drag ending a game in EL, no matter which victory path you choose, and despite it’s terrible combat, fighting is still the surest, quickest way to win – the other victory conditions are very much just clicking end turn) it isn’t a “true” 4x.

    In any case, from where I’m siting, all the 4xs are present and accounted for in AoW3, so saying that because the combat is so good, and the game revolves around it, makes it less of a 4x, seems illogical to me.

    Liked by 1 person


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