4X

Weekly eXchange #133 – Roman Amplitude

Join Nate and Troy as they bring you all the important information on all of your favorite 4X and strategy games! This week they talk about Driftland: the Magic Revival, Thea: the Awakening, Aggressors: Ancient Rome, At the Gates, Endless Space 2, Stellaris, Polaris Sector, Galactic Civilizations 3: Crusade, Stellar Monarch, and much much more. As well as continued coverage for your other favorite 4X and strategy games!

Music for eXplorminate by Mangadrive

Show Notes: Someday…

16 replies »

  1. nice show again, thanks!

    as you asked for it….predestination was updating in februrary/march and giving out some news but since then it seems to again gone silence like in the month before.
    would be cool if you could reach out to them…..if i’m not mistaken there should be a release date on the horizon for predestination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyable listen as always, thanks guys!

    As an interviewer I imagine it is tricky to walk that fine line between too soft and too aggressive. I think you guys have the right idea — ask hard questions, but keep it professional. You’ll get more respect from both your listeners/readers as well as the folks you are interviewing, I’d wager.

    I think the hate for all the bad patches lately has more to do with how damn *good* the games are — having an awesome game dangling in front of you that you can’t really enjoy due to one or two game-breaking bugs is incredibly frustrating. QA is expensive and as Troy noted we as a community keep voting for cheap QA with our wallets, so I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon.

    I’m with Nate – no fair comparing ES2 release AI with the Ail-powered Pandora AI! Ail did *unbelievable* things with the AI in that game, and it is now my go-to for a tough as nails gaming experience if actual people are not available. The only AI I’ve experienced that can compete with that is GalCiv2, after literally years of expansions and refinement.

    From all accounts the ES2 AI can actually play the game, which is an impressive accomplishment given how many games ship with barely functional AI…

    I think I might have had some other comments to make but Frogsquadron just posted the 1.05 official patch notes; ES2 is updating as I type. Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s an unofficial topic list for this show, in case it helps somebody:

    – [02:16] Driftland: the Magic Revival
    – [05:24] Thea: the Awakening
    – [06:25] Aggressors: Ancient Rome
    – [08:13] At the Gates, Jon Shafer
    – [16:25] Endless Space 2
    – [28:26] Stellaris
    – [32:30] Polaris Sector
    – [34:50] Galactic Civilizations 3: Crusade
    – [38:34] Stellar Monarch
    – [42:38] Community questions: Shallow Space
    – [43:05] Offworld Trading Company
    – [44:20] Games We’ve Been Playing

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m on my second Endless Space 2 game at the moment, both of which had the Unfallen in them. However, in my games they didn’t do very well at all. The first time around they started off right next to the Empire whose only path to expansion was right through them (yes, it was me), which didn’t end well for them. The second time they were wedged in between the Vodyani and the Sophons, and then 70 turns or so in, me. They just never got to take too much territory.

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    • i’m in my first ES2 game and the Unfallen are also not doing to much. have 2 star systems and one small faction assimilated, that’s it.

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  5. A very thought provoking episode!

    I have to agree with Nate regarding enjoying learning about a game even after hours of play. I tend to favor games that have a sense of depth where a player can have fun, innovate, and be surprised even after having played for hundreds of hours. I think the challenge is making a game where you can play and have fun at every level of understanding. If you have to master all the details to be competitive then the learning curve is going to too steep for most and if the details are rarely if ever impactful then players will rightly ignore them.

    Few games get it right in the 4X arena and I have to plug Dominions IV as it is the best example that I can think of.

    What do others think? Does anyone want to suggest other 4X games that have this kind of depth (I am always looking for new games to try)? Does ES2 fit that bill?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ES 2 has a LOT of subsystems. Each one has ways of upgrading or modifying them. I’m almost to 60 hours in the game and am still learning the nuances of it. I don’t think it’s as deep as Dominions 4, but very few games are.

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      • But you feel that those details are worthwhile or you feel that they are annoying? From the show it seemed like you were more negative about those subsystems.

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      • What’s annoying is how bad of a job the game does in communicating those detailed system to the player. Once you learn them, they’re fine, but it takes a lot of work to come to just a rudimentary understanding.

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      • Yes that does not sound like the fun form of discovery. The discovering how mechanics fit together in interesting and innovative ways is the fun way.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with Nate about the whole day 1 issue etc
    I am completely ok with the online digital delivery systems that we have now; and i do not at all miss the days of plastic boxes and “Please insert Game CD” prompts etc.
    The new digital systems allow developers to develop games well beyond release day. The best strategy games of recent times have evolved over time from their initial day one releases through a series of updates and DLC. The Civ games and Paradox games and so many more are now following this pattern.
    There will of course be developers who mess it up and even some who will take advantage – but that is just capitalism for you; the uncertainty of the market. Most developers are not like that and will do what they can to improve their games. They want to succeed and they know to do that they must pay attention to their customers. Exceptions are irrelevant because they are just part of the uncertainty of the market and there is no way around that unfortunate reality – except caution. Caveat emptor!

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