Weekly eXchange #158 – Spambots Invade!

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 Stellaris, Endless Space 2, Galactic Civilizations 3, Dominions 5, Worshippers, Total War: Rome 2 and much much more. As well as continued coverage for your other favorite 4X and strategy games!

Music for eXplorminate by Mangadrive

Show Notes:

  1. Stellaris Cherryh Update – 01:59
  2. Endless Space 2 free Statecraft update and new Unfallen quest – 07:34 and 12:18
  3. Brad Wardell is frustrated with the GalCiv3 community – 14:00
  4. Dominions 5 launches November 27th – 23:03
  5. New 4X card game – 25:26
  6. Total War: Rome 2 update – Empire Divided – 27:22
  7. Sunless Skies Update – 29:10
  8. StarCraft 2 is going Free To Play – 30:46
  9. Microtransactions/loot-boxes in 4X and strategy games? – 32:41
  10. Spambots invade! – 41:36

Games played – 43:14

  1. Endless Space 2 Steam page
  2. World of Tanks Blitz Steam page
  3. Thea 2: The Shattering webpage
  4. Eador: Imperium Steam page


11 replies »

  1. Hey guys, enjoyed the show.
    One thing Nate said piqued my interest, to wit that GalCiv3 is very moddable. I was under the impression that it wasn’t, since all the mods I’ve seen for it are cosmetic ones (races and ships). I wonder why there are no mechanics-oriented mods for it?


  2. Hi Nate can you give a link to Brad’s complaints about gamers
    by the way I agree in principle with the toxicity of many gamers and online communities


  3. Dominions 5… I have never knowingly had any contact with the developers but my sense is that they are have been burned by the community many times. I expect this is a side-gig/passion project for them and they don’t feel that they need outreach/advertising.

    I think the bit about Brad Wardell is a good example of how and why some developers might well choose not to engage directly with the community. Add in the issues with loot boxes and companies using compulsive gaming behavior to increase revenue and I have to question why Troy and Nate (keep up the good work guys!) are poo pooing Illwinter’s approach. Would you prefer a game that stands on its own merits alone and uses word of mouth to recruit more players or games that are heavily marketed, hyped through the roof, and profit maximized?

    Yippee! Show notes.


    • What we’d like is more contact with the devs so we COULD promote their game to a community that might not have heard of it. We WANT the indie devs to get noticed and sell more so they could keep making these kinds of games. But yea, show notes… All thanks to Joe.


      • Cheers Nate! My guess is that they are thinking – why do we need to spend time on this? Explorminate will review the game (or not). The review will be good (or not). If the only way to get a good review is to engage then that means its not an unbiased review. Assuming Illwinter isn’t making a game to make money, assuming they don’t have sales goals or deadlines, why go through the hassle of responding to person X? They are going to make games regardless of the sales or reviews because they enjoy it. I am sure they want people to enjoy the game but if you take away the profit motive the need to do all those other things pretty much drops away.

        Of course I could be wrong. Maybe they do desperately need the money and have deadlines and they are just really bad at the sales side of things. Personally, I would like to see an interview with Explorminate to know how they think about these things and hear about their philosophy of game design.

        What Explorminate might be able to do though is get other developers to see the value is Illwinter’s design approach (if there is one).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Nate
    Thanks for dusting off your soapbox and speaking out about microtransactions and loot boxes.
    This is an immensely important issue for gamers and the games industry.
    I think microtransactions are here to stay; but there are right and wrong ways to do it. EA choose to do it in the wrong way in BF2 and ended up with a Star Wars themed gambling app. I for one do not want games becoming themed gambling apps; and I wont buy games that implement predatory game mechanics to manipulate and exploit players. Have you heard about the predatory mechanic that Activision patented recently?
    This issue has now made the mainstream media and come to the attention of regulators and some State legislators in various countries. What I see is that corporations like EA will push this as far as they can to maximize profits – as they are legally obliged to do; and players and parents and legislators will have to push back. I hope this struggle will eventually result in certain industry standards being established which will be acceptable to corporations and players.



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