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The free Livy update to Imperator: Rome and the also free Punic Wars DLC out December 3
27 November 2019 at 2:44 am UTC

Kimyrielle
ColomboIMHO Paradox as a company made a deep dive and we have lost one of the more interesting company for strategic fans.

I am not sure I agree with this. While this game did get a lukewarm reception, I cannot name you another recent Paradox title that wasn't at least good, if not great. Stellaris, Cities Skylines and Hearts of Iron IV are arguably the best games of their respective genres, and Surviving Mars is still a good game.

I need to disagree with you strongly regarding Stellaris and Cities Skylines.

Stellaris was bad game. Very bad game. The first two hours of the first two games were great because the start is heavily exploration and event focused. This becomes however problem once they are not novelty thing any more. The rest of the game is however bad. This is very visible once you reach sectors, advanced warfare, diplomacy and other stuff in late game. I am not even mentioning the slogfest of conquering planets, forcing peace after sitting on them or troop transports that essentially serve no interesting purpose. And yeah, most technologies are just +5% to X. Only few of them allows you some specialization. And those are usually no-brainers.

Compare with Alpha-Centauri. There you had some storyline as well, some events that explained you interaction with planets. And a lot of quotes from individual leaders about technologies. The planet storyline stopped being exploring something strange alien after second gameplay. Quotes from leaders were not a new thing that you did read religiously at the similar time. But even after you would remove these elements, you had a solid mechanics in the form of honed and expanded Civ2 engine. With a powerful terraforming (which you could use as a weapon) and unit customization (which was not as interesting as it seemed). More than that, the planet storyline and quotes from leader, even after they got old, still served their function, to anchor player into the story, create certain athmosphere and sense of progression. This is completely missing from Stellaris. EU series didn't need it (as much), because this was done through historical quotes, the anchoring is done through historical conotation to real history, same as with standard Civs. And this is the same reason why no one could replicate the success of Alpha-Centauri, because no dev realized this difference (turns out you need superb mechanics and very distinct races with very distinct gameplay).

Stellaris just failed on the mechanical side (dev agreed, thats why the massive overhaul). And unfortunatelly, the events do not have some decent anchoring (one storyline does, but is quite inconsequential), but are build on purely exploration or nonsensical-fun purpose (bottle in space). And when those got old, they do not help anchor the gameplay any more.

Read this review: https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2016/05/18/bone-dry-sci-fi-stellaris-game-doesnt-even-work/

Regarding Cities-Skyline, I was equally dissapointed. I expected Sim-City killer. Instead I got sandbox with very narrow way to develop city (all interesting things are locked down at the start of the game) with a very simplistic economy and stuff to do in game. Its basically road-building simulator. Canvas to which you paint. Thats nice, but thats nothing like Sim-City was, which was a good (and sometimes quite challenging) game in the first place. With much greater options for building diverse cities from start. Likewise, quartertothree (a strategy fanboy) put it into top10 overrated games.

The free Livy update to Imperator: Rome and the also free Punic Wars DLC out December 3
26 November 2019 at 8:32 pm UTC Likes: 1

IMHO Paradox as a company made a deep dive and we have lost one of the more interesting company for strategic fans.

There is just such a big difference in development of a fully finished title, where any expansion will come later after players made a deep analysis of the game and everyone understand the weaker aspects that could be overhauled, and development of a title as a blank slate that could be later upgraded every half year.

Just look at this video. It doesn't tell you anything. It's not even interesting! Now compare it with CK2 videos of Seven Deadly Sins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpAYY3BvviE

The difference in a fun, informativeness and so on is astonishing!

Sorry for the rant.

Co-op real-time strategy game A Year Of Rain for Linux is a "TOP Priority"
8 November 2019 at 12:48 am UTC

b-but, we already have Warcraft 3. And with a easily digestible (more traditional) races.

Abbey Games announce they're going to let staff go in December as they "scope down"
7 November 2019 at 10:31 pm UTC

IMHO, all the Abbey games had problem with me.

When I heard "God game, where you can make your religion!" It was sold to me. But when Liam came with its review: "Dancing simulator with JRPG-like combat" I was done.

Similarly with the previous game with the giants that could change terrain. I imagined that I would have a single giant with associated tribe and battle against other giants and their tribes. Not that I would need to combine natural powers to make a habitable planet.

Nebuchadnezzar looks like a beautifully styled classic isometric city builder coming to Linux
4 November 2019 at 6:04 pm UTC Likes: 1

Fuck yes!

I love Caesar, Pharaoh, Zeus and Emperor! I like the isometric point of view with carefully crafted sprites (instead of less detailed and more blurry 3D models). And this looks exactly like those games!

My only hope is that they will get military and walls right. In previous games, it was very hard (essentially impossible and useless) to create true walled city with towers and so. They were paper thin and it was always better to just block enemy with soldiers instead.

Build and battle game From the Depths is officially launching this November
4 October 2019 at 12:22 am UTC

Purple Library GuyWhoosh. That sounds good, and yet I'm not sure I want to invest the time it would take to get good at it.

Thats exactly summarize my problem with this game. Its amazing, but require a lot of time investment.

Especially if you require your stuff to not suck. If you can accept that your engine would be inefficient, that your ships might be seriously underperforming, its fine. I have problem with not being efficient enough. I want to understand stuff, not just slap a few things together.

So yes, the game requires serious time investment. There are however mods, one that concentrates on WW2 ships and provide a lot of prebuild "simple weapons" -- weapons that you just place and works. You can also download templates -- weapons/engines/hulls that were created by someone else and you can just place them and they will work.

Also I haven't played it for year maybe coz I run out of time and patience. (same with Factorio, at least in factorio the complexity builds over time)

For fans:
You can design rockets as torpedos, anti-missile, flares (with heat signature against heat-seeking torpedos), frags, impact, high-explosives. You can set them to be short or long-distance based on how much fuel they have, how nimble they will be depending on how many wings you put on them. They can be stupid, even without propulsion as a bomb, buoyant so they float (water mines). Or they can be heat-seeking, laser-guided, either by themselves or through lasers on your ship. You can even have them tied to a rope and work as harpoons.

And then you have two (or three with coilgun?) types of artillery and lasers, each of those can be set up in many different ways for many different purposes. Sooner or later, you will need to think about layered armour, protection against missiles (active, such as minigun, or anti-rockets that destroy enemy missiles, or semi-active such as flares), lasers (through smokers) and so on.

If you have time and like to fiddle around, go for it. Its very creative game.

Build and battle game From the Depths is officially launching this November
3 October 2019 at 8:47 pm UTC

riidomHow is the multiplayer? I see currently 338 ppl in game, thats even less than Robocraft.. is the match making done in a way that the low numbers doesnt matter much?

Don't think Robocraft. From the Depth is as similar to Robocraft as it is to Minecraft in the sense that you build stuff from block. It is more similar to Factorio that you build complex machines (that can move).

Robocraft is like pew pew game where you can build your vehicle, but it is primarily pew pew game about using that vehicle to combat other people.

From the depth is about building complex vehicles. You don't just plop laser or gun on your ship/tank. You need to construct the gun from dozen of part *types*. Depending on how you assemble your gun, the number of reloaders, gun chambers, ammo magazines and many other parts, then your gun will perform, you can build it as a minigun-type cannon firing really fast, but fairly weak. You can build a howitzer type cannon with huge shells with shaped charges that will make serious damage to slow and well-armored ships, but won't hit anything fast. You then put AI computer on your ship and configure it so that it behaves like you want. You can even script your own AI in LUA (which you probably should if you want to do some well-honed airships that dodge shots, missiles and stuff thanks to their fast and chaotic fly patterns).

Similarly, every vehicle needs engine that most often runs on oil/gas. Right there you get stuck into complex engine patterns that do various tradeoffs (and some are just better than others) with space, power and efficiency (which you will get by pumping hot air back to the engine cylinders or so, forgot the details). The place where I stuck a lot is that your engine might be just bad (compared to the well-honed designs). Thats still fair. Problem is that your gun might be bad becuase there are some breakpoints and so on... a lot of stuff to know and experiment.

So the game is mostly about SP and building your stuff. Campaign is that you go against several predesigned factions that have different ways of building ships (slow armored vs fast flyers). I believe you can play the campaign in MP as coop or design stuff together in vehicle tester. But don't think about competitive multiplayer.

In fact, this game won't work in competitive multiplayer. Is f-ing compex. I wanted to say that you need PhD to understand it, but I have PhD and still got lost (by flying ships flipped for some reason, didn't flip X version ago though, probably different design, I went for single-turbine before instead of multiple ones).

Classic open source RTS "Seven Kingdoms: Ancient Adversaries" has a brand new release out
27 June 2019 at 10:15 am UTC Likes: 3

Sorry Liam, I don't want to sound negative, you might even consider me a fanboy, but I couldn't overlook some of your comments:

Quoteconsidering how basic it is

Its not basic. Its incredibly deep with a relatively simple system. You wouldn't call Go "basic" as well, would you? Especially considering that:

Quoteit wasn't even revolutionary
It was. And it is. Seven Kingdoms combines a simple resources->product->customer network from trade simulations (a lot of the code is identical to Capitalism, buildings are still called "Firm"), direct representation of population (I don't think that any game did it to this detail), everyone has skill like in "RPG" and skill-based abilities. Add spies, politics (could be improved), reputation, loyalty (you need to pay your people), different nationalities and their effect on loyalty, taxes...

And thats not some Grand Strategy Game or Turn Based game, but RTS!

No other game combined all of these things, hell even half of these things, in a complex, yet quickly understandable package.

You might need to bring a shovel for Stellaris: Ancient Relics, the newly announced story expansion
14 May 2019 at 8:33 pm UTC

Teodosio
Colombo
QuoteThen I have good news for you: Paradox's model fits you perfectly. Wait seven or eight years until development has stopped and buy the "complete edition" at 40€, giving you option C.

Never happened with EU or any other Paradox game.

Ready for you:
https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/europa-universalis-iii-collection/

In a few years you will find the same for EU4 and CK2, once development has stopped.

Thats EU3, thats before the new DLC policy. Tell me when it happens to EU4, HoI4 and Stellaris.

You might need to bring a shovel for Stellaris: Ancient Relics, the newly announced story expansion
14 May 2019 at 8:03 pm UTC Likes: 1

QuoteThen I have good news for you: Paradox's model fits you perfectly. Wait seven or eight years until development has stopped and buy the "complete edition" at 40€, giving you option C.

Never happened with EU or any other Paradox game.

QuoteThe base game offers more than enough content to keep you busy for dozens of hours
Dozens, dozens! Dozens of hours of mostly waiting because there is little happening in the base game.

QuoteThat would royally piss off 99% of Paradox fans and that's a conservative estimate.

Except that the same critique comes from Paradox fanbase quite often.

QuoteAs someone who actually plays Stellaris: The price + DLC really doesn't concern me.

Thats nice that it doesn't concern YOU. But it might concern others. I paid $20 bucks for Civ 5 and played it 800 hours. Stellaris can never came close to this, especially when it came in half-released state and it seriously needed major revamp. And I don't care if other people spend $60 bucks for FPS that they play for 2 hours. Or $174 bucks for game that they play for dozens hours.

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