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Endless Space Expansion Pack Disharmony This Summer

By on May 28th, 2013 12:00 pm

Endless Space: Disharmony | Expansion pack to the space 4X game Endless Space

Developer Amplitude Studios announced an expansion pack for Endless Space back in August of 2012. Battles were to be the expansions’ big focus.

“We know that we have definitely one focus for that Pack: Battles! We want to add more strategic choices, more feedback, fighters / bombers / interceptors, more weapons, defenses, modules, formations, aiming strategies, boarding parties etc…” ~Amplitude Studios.

Today, publisher Iceberg Interactive announced that the expansion, Endless Space: Disharmony, “will be coming to Steam this summer for $9,99/€9,99”.

Amplitude and Iceberg released Endless Space on July, 2012. An enjoyable turn-based 4X strategy game with a very intuitive User Interface, a competent AI, and a low learning curve. But, also with an unexciting combat mechanic, a unrewarding exploration feeling and hindered replayability. More on our review.

Amplitude kept improving the game though, and released a total of four free DLCs with many fixes and improvements. This was between October 2012 and March 2013. Now, with Disharmony, they prepare to release their first full (and paid) expansion pack.

Endless Space: Disharmony announced main features:

  • Brand new Faction called “The Harmony” with the main objective to Annihilate Dust;
  • New fighters and bomber units that will completely change the shape of combat, with the new Battle Formation and Targeting systems;
  • A complete rework of the Ship Design Interface giving an improved Weapon System that includes family types for modules (short, medium and long range)
  • New invasion mechanics have been added: prepare the population for bombardments, sieges and land invasions
  • Expect to face a real challenge when playing against AI opponents with the new Adaptive Multi-Agent Artificial Intelligence System (AMAS)
  • Other additions and features voted or requested by the community include:
    1. Four new heroes (Games2Gether)
    2. A new option to disable exchange of technologies, as a request from the Multiplayer community
    3. New Rally Points feature for newly built ships to reduce micromanagement
Amplitude Studios’ statement about Endless Space Disharmony:

“We’re lucky to have a motivated team and even luckier to have such an incredible community,” commented Mathieu Girard, CEO of Amplitude Studios. “Our expansion pack has been designed based on player requests and community G2G votes, and we hope that it fulfills – or surpasses – their expectations.” ~Amplitude Studios

Endless Space: Disharmony should be available both as DLC and in retail this summer for PC and Mac for $9,99/€9,99.

Now, the teaser trailer.

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  1. Kordanor says:

    For having a focus on combat there is not much changing in combat in the list provided here. I mean additional options are fine, but if the core system isn’t really fun that doesn’t help much.
    So are there actually any game mechanics changing or have changed already?

    In the past:
    -You needed to do the fights to heal your ships
    -It was not possible to give a standard set of cards, auto-fights were always the worst choice
    -For fleeing you had to play the whole combat
    -There wasnt a possibility to speed up the combat
    -The decisions within the combat were mostly luck based
    -In Multiplayer you should launch a “small” combat first, set it to auto and then attack with the real combat so that the other player is “stuck” in the first combat and can’t influence the important fight

    So how much has changed and will change?

    That said 10€ are a really cheap price. Probably even too low. I mean if they changed a lot (like all of the above points) I would probably pay even more.
    If they didn’t… well, I wouldn’t even buy the expansion for 10€.

    • BTAxis says:

      Agreed, the core system isn’t fun. I can’t find it in me to be excited for addons to something I never liked in the first place.

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      Many of these things have already been changed in the free mini expansions.
      1. Combat is still the fastest way to repair ships, it is true.
      2. Cards can be assigned in autocombat.
      3. See above.
      4. Still true, but you can instant complete a combat once started
      5. Mostly true.
      6. I don’t play multiplayer, but I’m pretty sure that is still possible.

  2. Joe Kundlak says:

    I haven’t tried Endless Space since early after its release, so am eager to see what they come up with a year after…

  3. Towerbooks3192 says:

    I do wish that there will be a point in time when Endless Space would hold my interest. Of all the space games I played, I must say that if there is one thing endless space have done right in my opinion, its how they give the races and events a story. I love their background story of things and the art that goes with it. My major turn off though is that its complexity is around the level of sword of the stars and its combat system is not my cup of tea.

    • Kordanor says:

      Hrm, I guess you mean that it’s incredibly complex? I am not so familiar with SOTS but from what I know there is a lot to learn and experiment in this game. If you mean that SOTS is not complex at all, then just ignore what I am writing here. ;)

      This isn’t the case in Endless Space. It’s actually straight forward and very easy to learn. Unfortunately due to it’s lack of complexity and bad AI it’s also extremely easy to master making it boring quite easy.
      But it has a very good interface and presents the informaion in a good way.

      On the contrary I think they did not do a good job with the story. I mean yeah, it exists. But it’s not really a part of the game but just additional stuff you can read…or not. It has not too much influence into the game. I think the only exception were the Cravers who “consume” planets. I like the background story, but it’s not very well implemented into the game.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        My turn off about its complexity is because its too simple and I am used to playing paradox games and dI would prefer distant worlds over endless space. I reckon it did not find the sweet spot between complexity and simplicity likr master of orion 2 or civilization games. Those games are complex enough to require you to think and simple enough to pick up and play

  4. Ashbery76 says:

    The game improved a lot with the add on packs so I will be picking this up.New weapons system options,fighters,ground combat and a new race sounds a good deal.

  5. CrowOfGames says:

    Kordanor –

    -Your ships heal while in a system owned by you, albeit slowly. It is still odd that by doing a fight where your ships are overpowering the enemy and you play the Nano-Repair Systems battle action to heal your ships MUCH faster than they normally would by just sitting in your own system. It is something they still need to fix IMHO.
    -You can now choose the battle actions your fleet will use in a fight, *then* press the “Auto” button. Much better than Auto fights were in the past.
    -Using the Retreat battle action first causes your fleet to leave in the first phase of combat. You can use this in the Auto fight selection as well to speed things up – no need to go through the whole fight anymore.
    -Combat is way faster now that you can select the battle actions for a fight and just click “Auto”.
    -I don’t see where luck plays a part in combat when you are the one choosing your own battle actions.
    -That multiplayer “hack” no longer works. Combats no longer start the instant you prevoke them – you can minimize them and deal with them later during your turn, in an order of turns actions by your own choosing. So… trying to divert your opponent’s attention with trivial battles no longer works.

    And yes, for what you are getting, $9.99 USD is dirt cheap and well worth it. I really enjoy the game as is, and I also keep in mind that they are constantly adding to and improving the game – iterative development at its best.

    Hope this helps!

    • Kordanor says:

      Indeed, thanks for the explanations! :)

    • jackswift says:

      Yep, they’ve fixed a lot of the niggling issues I had with the combat. Unfortunately, if you weren’t a big fan of the combat in the first place, those fixes probably aren’t enough to get you interested in the game. If you thought the combat was unbalanced, there are a couple mods out there that really make the game shine (The Fair Fight mod and Imperium Aetrna come to mind)… kinetics become useful and they make the AI much more dangerous.

  6. DannyD says:

    Very goood news for me :)

    I’m prepared for the official italian translation ^___^

  7. jackswift says:

    I’m pretty excited for this. I love almost everything about this game. The one thing that I felt they could’ve really improved upon was the battle system… and it looks like they’ve listened to the community and really got something that will elevate ES from “good” to “great”.

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fill of RTS-style micro and personal control over my ships in battle for the time being (and that feeling of if only I could click on things faster, my fleet would be better). Sometimes, I just want to sit back and watch the destruction brought by my creations unfold on my screen. ES always felt like there were not enough options when designing ships and choosing cards. If this changes the sort-of ‘rock-paper-scissors’ setup they have now into ‘rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock’, that would be great.

  8. Ermdog says:

    Well, at least they know what people want, and that’s a better combat system. I hope the changes they make will make combat exciting and interesting but doesn’t seem like they will change the core mechanics.

    Regardless, I am going to pick this up. I like this game, even with the current combat system. Some 4x games I will usually auto combat (depending on the dept of combat and strategic complexity) anyway, so additions to combat will hopefully make it enjoyable to play

  9. Keith Turner says:

    The lackluster combat was one of the primary issues I had with Endless Space. I’m intrigued to see what they have done here. If the cinematic battles are actually entertaining to watch, and the Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanics are slightly less obvious, hmm… it’s an interesting thought.

    Carriers and fighters zooming around was one thing I had mentioned would spice things up a bit, and it looks like they are going to do it now.

  10. lammaer says:

    Anyone have “intel” on these two items: “the new Battle Formation and Targeting systems”?

    These seems to be interesting additions for me in battles, but some clarification would be great. Targeting at least I can imagine, but how formations could play role in battles…

    • Olivier says:

      may for instance you could put forward ships with loads of flak cannon (anti missiles) and they would intercept incoming missiles to protect the rest of the fleet ?

      One of the biggest change might also be the implementation of long/middle/short range … Today, the system is quite broken as canons are basically almost useless since they only work at short range, maybe this could be improved.

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      They explain it all the the forum, but basically you can choose to have your entire fleet concentrate on one the first enemy ship, spread fire out to the first few, or simple select their own targets as now. The more concentrated your fire, the longer it takes to acquire a new target after you destroy your current one.

      Formation lets you fore example put your ships with the strongest defences up front to tank for the rest of the fleet, or hide your carriers and other special ships in the back.

  11. Fluffy Bunny says:

    I hope they don’t make combat more time consuming. I loved the combat in Endless Space, because it was over quickly enough for me to spend my time doing important things instead. Like running my empire.

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      They have stated that the time that each of the three phases takes in real time remains fixed, so the battles take exactly the same amount of time when not paused.

  12. Eno says:

    Jeez this xpac is taking forever..really looking forward to playing a space 4x but need some changes this brings.

  13. ray says:

    Well, at $9.99 for this expansion I am almost certain to get it if the reviews are any generally good. While many observations here are accurate, I feel that the game still offers a fun experience – but something is missing and I do hope this expansion plugs some gaps. Meanwhile, back to Distant Worlds shadows…

  14. Viktor says:

    This will definitively add some to this already-good game! Too sad people don’t see past their beloved and idolized “Moo2”; seems to me like all the new space games out there are judged through MOO2’s filter which, admittedly, was a great great game no denial but come on it’s 2013 let’s give this prehistoric game a break and let it die (read: live forever) respectfully in the Great-Games’ Olympus.

  15. DevildogFF says:

    We can let MOO2 die when a game exceeds its quality. Still hasn’t happened.

    I wish someone would just remake MOO2 with better graphics.

  16. Ashbery76 says:

    MOO2 with better graphics would still fall under its own weight in mid game.

    The golden age of strategy games is now.

  17. zigzag says:

    Different strokes for different folks, but I’d rather suffer through MOO2’s midgame than Endless Space’s. Pacing problems haven’t been solved by any game yet.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I think part of the pacing problem lies with the victory conditions. It’s great to have a lot of freedom and flexibility, and, less narrative restrictions. But, 4X games tend to just take too much time to finish. So, you end up starting hundreds of games but only finishing a few. In the meantime you linger (or drag out) in most of those games by mid/late game. And, I agree, no game has nailed the pacing issue yet.

      Of course, starting new games is a lot of fun, but you’re supposed to win the games. After all, these are strategy games, and strategy usually has a goal. Master of Orion for instance (the original one) was much quicker to finish than MoO2. You voted on the galactic senate from time to time, and before you knew it, you won or lost the game. Yes, it was a lot of fun.

      So, one way to solve the pacing problem, and the excessive micromanagement (just too much going on), is to give more options to fine tune victory conditions. That way, a player may choose to take a long time to achieve victory, and drag on if he/she so desires, but others may setup a quicker, yet deep game to finish in less time and following a specific style, or route.

      I think Distant Worlds (since Legends) closed the gap a bit on this department. Besides offering the usual dominance victory conditions, you can go with the ones of a specific race, and fine tune the percentage of domination you want to achieve (owned territory, total revenue/GDP, owned colonies) combined (or not) with the race’s specific victory conditions. And, each race’s victory conditions are very different from each other. I think CodeForce did a very good job with the victory conditions. Of course, DW games are/can still be huge nevertheless. But, there’s a lot of setup freedom to fool around with.

      In conclusion, I think part of the pacing/excessive micro/repetitiveness issues in 4X games lies with fuzzy objectives and unclear pathways to victory. They are probably too much, how would I say it, loose. 4X games are not supposed to have a narrative underneath, guiding your way to victory I know (like X-COM games for example), but if you want to solve the pacing problem I think you should provide richer and more flexible victory conditions. This way, each player can fine tune his/her perfect game pace. Perhaps some (or many) would prefer to play smaller games, if that means a way to achieve victory and be satisfied by that feeling.

      • zigzag says:

        @Adam I think that’s an excellent description of the problem and a solution to it. The only thing that I would add is that victory conditions’ “flexibility” shouldn’t just apply to a player’s decisions before the game, but also a player’s decisions during the game. A player in a winning position should be able to win the game quickly or, if she prefers, to drag out the game and savor her victory while still retaining the option of winning it quickly.

        Edit: Grammar. And, hey, there’s an edit feature now?

        • Adam Solo says:

          100% agree. I found that need more than a few times myself. The need to accelerate or drag out a game with respect to victory as you say. I’m pretty sure no game has implemented that yet, and I think it would be a wonderful new feature. Then we need a few more depth on the winning report. But that’s for another time and discussion.

          So, to all developers reading this. We (gamers) need more flexibility, more feedback and more options regarding victory conditions. Before and during the game itself, if possible. Winning is an important part of strategy games in general, so, it must be in 4X games as well.

          \Edit: On the “edit feature”, yes, wonderful thing, isn’t it. It was a long time request from the readers, which I should have done much earlier. But hey, better later than never, right? :) It’s good for grammar, but also to edit stuff we regret to have said or update with something extra we found necessary. Anyway, it’s an essential feature, no doubt.

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