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Endless Space: Second Add-on About “Ambience” and “Life”

By on November 7th, 2012 9:27 am

Endless Space | 2nd Free Add-on

Amplitude Studios announced the first bits of information on their second (free) add-on for Endless Space, to come out still this year.

According to Amplitude’s update plan, this free add-on #2 content was defined through Games2Gether by the end of October 2012. The free add-on #3 content voting is expected to start after that. Three free ad-ons “will be released until December of this year (2012)”, said Amplitude.

Their first add-on, “Rise of the Automatons”, brought a new custom faction with that name; UI changes, namely more information on trade routes with a specific new panel for that; they also upgraded some aspects about diplomacy, including more alliance options and some fixes.

This second add-on will bring:

  • Random Interactive Events: Multiple choice interactive random events
  • Ambience Galaxy Map +: Give more life to the galaxy with the addition of comets, black holes, anomalies, etc…
  • Exploration Rewards: There will be rewards on some systems that can only be earned by the 1st players to reach them
  • Wonders: Adds wonders rewarding players’ exploration with strong and temporary boosts

In addition to this preliminary list of features Amplitude also said to be working on other features than will reinforce the immersion as well as the AI. “More on this will be revealed on the upcoming weeks”, added Amplitude.

More Life, Ambience and Immersion are indeed very welcome, to a good game foundation no doubt, but that lacks soul and more ways to engage and capture people’s attention for extended periods of time.

Providing more chances to surprise players, with random events, and the investment on eXploration aspects, with the introduction of wonders and rewards for discovery, is surely a step in the right direction.

Amplitude is listening, and their Games2Gether initiative seems to be working quite well. The future seems bright for Endless Space, and for all who have been supporting this space 4X game since the beginning.

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  1. Gary says:

    Sounds good :)

  2. Nats says:

    Nice summary of the plans for Endless Space. It’s a great little game – just needs a bit more life and soul – and it sounds like they are listening. Cant wait to see how these new improvements change the game.

  3. slyostinato says:

    While I was extremely excited about ES when it first came out earlier this year, my enthusiasm and support for this game has dropped off so dramatically that I now go out of my way to tell friends, family and colleagues, who I know are PC game buyers, to outright avoid buying this game – at least in its current state.

    To prove my point, I told a colleague to be weary of this game about a month ago. He thought I was being hard on the game and he went out and bought it anyway. I ran into him just a couple of days ago and I had to ask him how the game was going for him. (Hahaha…I love being right.) He looked at me and said, “mannnn, it has alot of nice eye candy and graphics, but there are a number of game play issues and mechanics that either don’t work properly or are just missing.” He was really torqued off that the multiplayer aspect of the game didn’t seem to work. I looked at him with the biggest grin and smirk and he said, “Go ahead, give it to me.” And I did. I said – I TOLD YOU SO! He told me he was going to try to return it to Amazon, since he bought the DVD version of it, and ask for a refund for the reason that the game is buggy and the multiplayer game play portion is faulty. I hope he gets his money back. No one deserves to be strapped with a game that doesn’t meet your expectations.

    So, word to the wise…wait until Amplitude Studio is done tweaking this game with all of their add-ons that should’ve part of the game when they first released it for public consumption. Of course, if you have alot of disposable income or just have money that is burning a hole in your pocket, then be risky and give it a try; but don’t be surprised if you find things that are missing that you would’ve otherwise expected it to have for a 4X game. Ohh, if you are the type of person that believes in returning an item if you are not satisfied with it, avoid buying from Steam and buy the DVD version from Amazon. Amazon has better customer service in that aspect. (PS: For United States consumers, you will have to buy this from the Amazon UK website as this game simply does not exist in the USA)

    • Adam Solo says:

      I agree that there are plenty of space 4X games out there that are more enjoyable than Endless Space is at the moment. Just look at the reviews section and you’ll find them. But, nobody here said this was an excellent game at release time. It surely is a good start but it needs improvement, especially on the immersion and combat aspects. The good news is that Amplitude Studios is listening and evolving the game, and an expansion is also envisaged, so, there seems to be plenty to look for in this title for months to come.

    • Ermdog says:

      You make it sound like the game was broken with major bugs when it came out. It was rather smooth with some minor issues and was well received by critics( 77/100 metacritic score). Sure there were aspects of the game that could of been better, but that goes with every game. It wasn’t that expensive and they announced many free addons as well as an expansion. To each their own, but I for sure don’t think this game is so bad it deserves a return/refund. I can understand a return/refund for SOTS 2 or Legends of Pegasus, but I have a hard time seeing that with this game.

      It’s also unfair to say the addons should have been part of the release. Just about every game has updates and addons after the release to better improve the game. Not every game can be released with all the bells and whistles, they have to go off customer feedback to find out what they can do better, and what consumers want.

      Waiting to purchase the game until all the “free” addons are out doesn’t make too much sense either. These are free additions to the game after all, and could have easily charge for the dlc. I can understand if they were patches to fix a broken game but it’s not broken.

  4. Ermdog says:

    It seems like they read your review because random events/ more depth to exploration, was one of the things you wished were in the game…and rightfully so.

    I’m so glad they will be having more addons and an expansion later. This was a decent game when it came out and they clearly are listening to the community to try and make this even better. Sure this isn’t the best 4x game out there, but its one of the better turned based ones I’ve seen in a long time. They do so many things right in this game, but unfortunately they miss in key areas. With this addon its a step in the right direction and something that is very important in 4x games, which are the random events and the addition of annomilies, black holes, etc.

    The two things I really want to see improved are the combat and diplomacy. I’m hoping some way they can revamp their combat system and give much more depth to diplomacy. If they fixed these problems then we really have a great game upon us

    • A says:

      I know that they have serious revamps envisioned for combat with the paid expansion. As for diplomacy, they have tweaked it a bit already, but I don’t know what exactly they did (I have been too busy with exams to check it out). I do know that the community has a huge project going on to improve the ai and that the developers are using, or at least looking at, their tweaks.

  5. Mark says:

    I played this game just after i bought Starbase Orion (a Mobile version of the great MOO2). After playing 3 or 4 times i realized they were pretty much the same (ES just have better graphics).
    After a couple of years far away from any 4x game now i am looking for one good one. This time, ES is not going to be this guy and i will check again after his first expansion. My next candidate will be Distant Worlds.

    • Ermdog says:

      One thing ES does (in my oninion) better thatn MoO2 is planetary management. It’s really a game within itself for me. I enjoy managing all my systems and figuring out what planets to colonize and which ones not to (at least beginning/mid game). It’s very challenging in its own way to make sure your empire is producing good “fids” and are getting the bonus resources.

      I’m still having trouble deciding if making every planet colonizable is a good thing or bad thing. The good part about it, is everyone comes with its benifits and flaws, and it really makes you think about taking that gas planet with -30 planet happiness but good research. Eventually you research tech which makes your empire happiness really high so you can afford to take those crappy planets. The bad part about it is you have no feeling of danger, or eagerness to actually find that system that has good colonizable planets. Yes some systems have better ones than the other, but you know you can colonize everyone and it takes the fun out actually finding a system to colonize like MoO2 and DW.

      DW is a great game, but there is SO much stuff to wrap your head around and can get frustrating fast. I’m the type of person that likes to know everything that is going on in my empire and there are a ton of things going on at once all the time and in real time (they do have a pause button). For example in almost every game Ill be at war with another empire and I’ll constantly get spammed popup messages that I’m being attacked. The thing is I’m being attacked by 5 different things at once, wither it be pirates, space monsters, or another empire, and I can’t keep track of them all. I guess thats one of my big gripes about the game

      • Marc says:

        It’s also the case that DW simply isn’t a very challenging game. The world is huge, which is great, and it feels very alive. But the game is so complex that there are many ways to make the AIs simply uncompetitive. The forums are full of things along the lines of “yes, you can win easily by doing x y z, so just house rule that you don’t do those things.” The problem is that this forces you to leave aside a lot of major game systems. DW is a cool simulator, but it isn’t the sort of game that makes me feel “I can lose against the AI if I’m paying any attention at all.”

        ES, by contrast, has a tiny world and very simple rules. This means to me that I have some hope of actually being able to have a respectable AI give me a real challenge.

        • Ermdog says:

          I totally agree with that. DW is a nice game but sometimes i’m not looking for a complex game. During the mid/late games in DW it gets frustrating trying to control everything. The thing I like about ES and MoO2 is it’s simplicity, yet still be challenging and have just amount of depth without feeling dull. I’m not a fan of DW ship design and all the little components you have to have. Sure its right up the alley for those who love to really customize ships, but it’s too much for me. ES and MoO2 ship customization is right up my alley, nothing too complex, but enough options to make it fun.

        • Adam Solo says:

          I totally get what you guys are saying about the complexity and simple rules. DW can be a very wild beast to tame, especially if you play very large games and want to take control of everything (which you need to extract the most fun). You guys are talking about Legends, right? The original DW (without the expansions) isn’t very playable due to the game complexity and lacking UI.

          My position about DW:Legends is known. For me it is the best space 4X game there is at the moment. I’ll say that, even not being a TBS it shares the podium with MoO2 and GalCiv2. I don’t have a preference, I love all three, although MoO2 has a special place in my heart. If you love a big and alive universe with lots of things going on, but still highly manageable (with Legends, everything full control, and pausing often) then nothing can beat DW:Legends at the moment.

          About Endless Space, I’m afraid that although it offers a lot of quality in the UI, low learning curve, and everything is very intuitive, it didn’t click for me. It didn’t stick. Combat plays a role in my disappointment, but above all else I feel that the exploration phase is lacking and the immersion scarce. I don’t think the game is very engaging in the long run, certainly addicting for a while but it doesn’t stick. I feel that my choices are not that crucial and I end up building the same thing everywhere. However, it is a good game. It was very well done and can still provide many hours of fun. And, it has plenty of room for improvement.

          I’ve been checking progress on ES, as you’ve been following in the blog, and I have true hope that the game will be much better after the three free add-ons get out. The expansion is another great opportunity for another leap. I’m sure Amplitude will do something about the combat and inject some more aliveness and ambiance in the game, which DW:Legends has to spare…

      • Mark says:

        I am playing DW right now and agree that it is very complex but… I am loving it! Yes, i will need 1 or 2 weeks to play a “real game” but it is ok for me.

        ES really have a smooth learning curve but (IMO) at the cost of in-game depth. At my third ES game i could already recognize and predict lots of repetitive patterns. Sometimes a harder learning curve means more interesting and unexpected things happening (and sometimes not as MoO3).

        MoO2 was great and i expect that any game that appears more than 15 years after it brings more interesting stuff than better graphics.

        For example: expecting all alien forms to go for the same type of planets seems is a little bit simplistic for me. I would love to see alien forms going for planets that could be harm for other life forms. That way each race would see the galaxy with a different point of view and unexpected things could occur, like some bastard attacking me because of some useless (for me) lava planets on my system. Obs: I have not played the last add-ons and maybe they have changed this.

        But i really don’t think ES is a bad game. It just need a bit more “different possibilities” and i expect the next expansions to address it.

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