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Endless Space: Alpha 2 Expected Today on Steam

By on May 16th, 2012 6:51 am

Endless Space | Alpha 2 coming soon

Amplitude Studios is working hard and is close to release a new alpha version for Endless Space. Their expectations are to release the new alpha today on Steam. You can see the full list of changes, additions and fixes here.

Some changes/additions I retained:

  • Added a drag and drop function for the items of the construction queue
  • Fixed an issue where AI fleets can initiate a fight during the “End turn” phase
  • Added a warning message if you don’t have a research in queue on end turn
  • Added a warning message if your bank account become negative at the next turn
  • Exchanges can no longer be made in cold war or war
  • Added a colored symbol to most of the icons of the tech tree
  • Improved the 3D viewport in the Military and Ship Design screens
  • Added background elements in the Battle view (asteroids, wrecks)
  • Added a zoom level slider in the Galaxy View
  • More here.
Endless Space is currently in alpha but you can already pre-purchase on Steam and start playing now. You have a preview of the first alpha released on Steam on May 2, 2012 here. The game is expected to release on Summer 2012 with the boxed-version expected on Aug 24, 2012. The publisher, Iceberg Interactive, is also planning for French and German versions of the game.
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  1. dejagore says:

    Bought it when You previewed Alpha 1 version of Endless Space on spacesector. So far I did finish 2 games on that version and the impressions are great! I really look forward to next alpha/beta builds, as this game has great potential.
    So far on the top of my space 4X games list was Distant Worlds Legends. It will probably change to Endless Space when it will go Gold.
    This games feels like what I expected from Sword of the Stars II. The difference is that Endless Space in Alpha status is more polished and playable than SotS2 after half year of patching process.

    • salvo says:

      yes, you are right, apart from the combat model, the repetition of an interactive movie, it’s a great game. I really hope the developers listen to the critics and implement an alternative combat system, ideally TB as in MOO2, additionally to the already existing which has been designed explicitely for MP.

      • dejagore says:

        Well for me the combat system is fine. I mean, it’s more MP focused but that’s OK as I plan to play Endless Space also in multiplayer mode. Besides it’s not that bad for single player either – it’s fast and fun. To be honest – nowadays I tend to skip most of the battles in SotS as they became…boring. And this card/tactic system gives You a little thrill and uncertainty with every combat phase. I like that a lot.

  2. aReclusiveMind says:

    I very highly doubt they would abandon their battle card systemand go with a turn based tactical battle system at this point. The game is too far along and too many people have played and bought the game now for them to change anything that drastically. I do expect to see more improvements such as a better battle camera, more cards to use, etc.

    Anyway, this patch list seems to fic all the issues I had with Alpha 1. I look forward to trying it out again.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, it’s probably too late to change the combat mechanics now. But they could improve camera options like you say. They mention more cards in the changes list but nothing radically different.

    • salvo says:

      probably yes, that’s why I suggested introducing it later as an expansion. If there is enough support for it, and I suppose it will, it could be simply implemented as an additional option together with those already existing: automatic resolution, interactive movie (especually for MP) and tactical turn-based (for SP). They call it community based development, after all.

  3. zigzag says:

    It looks like they’ve got a great grasp of what needs to be improved.

    These changes also seem like they could be very interesting:

    – Added a new Fleet action: guard. The fleets with guard status will block fleet movements of all opponents in cold war or war.
    – Added the ‘Lock End Turn’ option in the game options panel. When this option is selected, you will not be able to end your turn until all critical warnings have been dismissed or resolved.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, those are two nice ones also. They are indeed listening. However I didn’t notice anything particularly interesting about combat though. Perhaps some things about new cards but nothing about camera changes.

    • dejagore says:

      Indeed, the ‘Guard’ action was something that was missing in Alpha 1. I hated when being in a war, enemy ships where just flying all over my empire and couldn’t attack them unless they blocked star system.

      I was hoping for updates in diplomacy in this build. But well, maybe next alpha/beta build will give us some updates on that issue.

  4. aReclusiveMind says:

    They also announced the 6th race, the Amoeba. I am happy to see a non-humanoid race included in the game.

  5. aReclusiveMind says:

    I’ve been having a lot of fun with Alpha 2. I was able to play a game to completion last night and won via expansion after knocking out the Cravers and taking nearly everything from the United Empire.

    My biggest gripe at this point would be that late game management tends to get very time consuming. I suppose this is a common 4x issue though. I’ve not played Distant Worlds, but my understanding is that it is a bit better at automating a lot of these tedious things. To be fair, Endless Space has some AI governors you can assign to your provinces, but I’m not sure I can really trust them to run things properly.

    I’d like to see some streamlining in the system build menu. In my inner systems I don’t really need to build defensive or influence bonuses as my influence is already covering the entire area and those systems are not going to be attacked easily. I also don’t build population increasers for tiny/small planets in systems that don’t have any tiny or small planets. I have to scan through all the icons of things I don’t want/need to find what I am looking for. I find I get tired of this later on and just start doing industry > science or dust conversions everywhere.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

      Late game tedium… the eternal 4X game issue. DW doesn’t suffer so much from that problem because of the automation yes, but above all because DW doesn’t offer that much planetary management depth. There are very few buildings and ships you can build at planets, and the more, or almost single, important decision you can make at your planets is to set taxes right. DW puts you much more on the role of the expansionist, trader and diplomat than in the system or planetary architect (in Civ it would be city planner/architect). Which is fine, it’s a different enjoyable way to play a 4X game.

      Try using the computer governors and create imaginary provinces to see how the AI handles the problem.

      Your issues with the system UI sound very important. You should report that to the devs.

      By the way, you didn’t mention space combat on your comment. Are you liking it? Find it ok?

      I plan to play a long ES game this weekend. I’ll let you know how it went.

      • aReclusiveMind says:

        Combat turned out mostly to be a non-issue in my most recent game. I was playing on a small map rather than a large in an attempt to reduce the amount of micromanagement that I would have to do later in the game.

        I was able to produce enough of a border fleet (thanks to the new system blocking option in Alpha 2) to prevent the Cravers to my southeast from ever making a move towards me. To my west, the United Empire and Hissho decided to fight with one another while I grabbed up most of the north and center.

        Using the Horatio (my faction) to their fullest extent, I was able to quickly populate systems. I also had access to 5 heroes (instead of 3) much quicker than any other faction would, as the position of Advanced Game Theory is much earlier in the tech tree for Horatio. The Horatio have a talent called cloning that allows them to clone any of their heroes to create a duplicate hero for a rather small dust fee. If I had one administrator or general who was leveling up, I was then able to disband/expel my lesser heroes and simply clone my higher level heroes a few times. In this way, the Horatio are able to instantly have multiple veteran combat generals who may not have ever seen combat before. The same applies to colony administrators.

        Long story short, I was able to keep veteran generals on the border systems and went with an offensive laser based destroyer squadron that I made more or less expendable by increasing their weaponry and using very little as far as defensive measures go. By the time I got into combat with most enemies, I used autoresolve as my army was much stronger than theirs. I would have manually fought them, but even a “quick” win in manual battles can take a bit as their is no fast forward feature. Once the enemy is destroyed, the round still continues until the next phase. Once the next phase (medium or short range) begins, it jumps to the generating report phase which then takes quite a few seconds more. It wasn’t worth micromanaging battles manually to save a ship or two that could be replaced in one game turn.

        In past games of Endless Space I fought far more manual battles. I don’t mind the system, but I wish there were more weapon options. I also wish ship design was more involved. A module based system like Legends of Pegasus and Stardrive have would likely work better. With the current weapons, kinetics, lasers, and missiles, they don’t really change much aesthetically aside from changing color. In the end, I just upgrade each ship I have with the newest and then retrofit my squads. Manual battles aren’t very exciting to watch, but I do feel like the card system has value. My choices do matter and having your repair card attempt thwarted by the opponent’s counter card can turn a win into a loss very quickly. If you know what weapons your enemy is bringing to the table, missiles for instance, playing a card that increases your missile interception in the initial rounds can be critical in providing you time to close in.

        Diplomacy is a weak point of the series right now. I hope the Amoeba, being a diplomatic faction, will bring changes to the diplomacy system with them. Espionage is also something they need to add.

  6. aReclusiveMind says:

    The Sowers were announced today. They are robots who have no desire to cater to the original inhabitants of new worlds they encounter and whose one true purpose is to make each world a utopia (by their standards) for the return of the long lost Endless.

    Excited about them and the Amoebas. Both seem to offer playstyles and victory offerings that will be quite different from the others.

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