Strategic eXpanse #33 – 4th Anniversary Hangout Session!

eXplorminate turned four years old! So Nate, Troy, Joshua and Mark had a some fun hanging out and talking about 4X and gaming in general. They had A LOT of fun, so much so, that some strong language made it on the podcast. Listeners, beware!!! Thank you for following us for four years, because we have more where that came from. Enjoy!

Music for eXplorminate by Mangadrive

Show Notes: 

State of the 4X genre – 02:07

  1. General discussion
  2. What kind of innovation do we want in the 4X genre? – 12:48
  3. Short Endless Space 2 spoiler! – 20:07
  4. Discussion continues… – 22:26

What is your biggest disappointment about 4X since eXplorminate started in 2014? – 24:47

  1. 4X being a niche and a bunch of crappy games (Mark)
  2. Constant spamming of MOO 1/2 remakes + gamers in general (Joshua) – 29:44
  3. and MOO: Conquer the Stars (Troy) – 32:52
  4. Several big games released without much promotion and reaction (Nate) – 38:56

What makes you smile about eXplorminate in relation to 4X? – 42:23

  1. “Game of the Year” debates and subsequent podcast (Troy)
  2. 4X conversations in general and listener/reader feedback (Joshua) – 44:15
  3. Let’s Play X-Com: UFO Defense (Mark) – 45:30
  4. Team effort and events visited (Nate) – 49:52

What are you planning to play in the upcoming year? – 52:21

  1. Mark
  2. Troy – 57:25
  3. Joshua – 58:40
  4. Nate – 1:05:05


19 thoughts on “Strategic eXpanse #33 – 4th Anniversary Hangout Session!

  1. Let me be the first one to congratulate the e4X team to their 4 years of service and 200 WEX shows! This discussion was fine as always and could have lasted even more, I would not mind at all! A proposed toast for another 200 WEX shows and further years of eXplorminate!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d like to direct this comment at Mark regarding what he said about his X-Com let’s play. I was involved in the comments for those videos, and I enjoyed them immensely. I’ll tell you why it was so good, too.

    Firstly, X-Com is a game that really lets you connect with the viewers by giving them a direct representation in the game, telling a little story about them. That’s fun! Secondly, X-Com is a game where things can go to hell very quickly very suddenly. For viewers this is good because we humans like to watch each other’s misery.

    This is also why your let’s try of Rimworld was fun, because it contains both elements described above. At the time you were still a new player which meant you made mistakes, but that was okay! It added to the chaos that makes for good Youtube. In contrast, I don’t enjoy the Stellaris streams all that much because you’re good at that game and it’s mostly smooth sailing toward victory.

    So, my recommendation? Do a playthrough of TFTD. Yeah, you’ve said you don’t want to because it frustrates the hell out of you. Good. You’re suffering for our entertainment. That said, never play anything that isn’t fun for you, but if you ever do take that plunge, I’ll be with you all the way. Again. Hopefully.


    1. Bas. You got shot in the face on the very first mission.
      Injured several times through the campaign.
      Made the final assault on Mars (and survived)

      That series was full of memories just like that and I promise to have something similar in the future.

      It was fun for me just as much as it was fun for you guys :)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Joshua, your opinion on Master of Orion 2 entirely matches my own. I played that game, many years ago now, and even then I didn’t think it was that great in comparison to Ascendancy. Today, whenever a developer namedrops it, it does nothing for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats on Year 4! I’ve been around for most of those four years and I can honestly say I check the web site and the forum every day. You guys have done a great job and we all appreciate your hard work.

    Mark: I was one of those eXplorminators who you picked for your Darkest Dungeon. I died, you resurrected me…and I died again. So even though you killed me twice, I still love ya, man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Weekly eXchange is a news show with occasional guests.
      The Strategic eXpanse is our roundtable/interview series, and that one will be getting more frequent show.
      The XX is a two person exchange.


  5. (Still haven’t finished)
    I had to laugh at Mark’s comment on how 4x enthusiasts were especially taken advantage of when there’s a developer who’s been selling JPEGs for 5 years with no game in sight – and that’s just the most egregious one.
    Really, though, don’t expect much and you won’t be disappointed, even with the best intentions Sturgeon’s law still applies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is my favorite episode so far. Good to hear you guys having some free-form fun. I just wish Strategic Expanse was more often.

    I completely agree with Joshua’s opinion on MoO – it’s time to let it go and move on. As an avid board gamer myself I can see how 4X could stand to learn a lot from them. Board games by their nature need to be designed with minimal complexity and last 20+ years there’s been a lot of innovation in ways you can design interesting and engaging games around that limit. PC games often fall into this design trap because there is no limit in how complex of a game you can make but fail to realize complexity does not equal depth.

    I also agree with Nate that 4X fans are the worst. We all want 4X games to evolve but at the same time it seems that a lot of people are pissed off whenever you try to change anything. It’s like there is a list of necessary features that every 4X game need to have that already makes the game bloated and leaves no room for innovation.



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