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Star Ruler 2 Hits Steam Early Access – Beta First Impressions

By on July 22nd, 2014 10:59 am

Star Ruler 2 | A real-time Space 4X Strategy Game by Blind Mind Studios

Star Ruler 2 by Blind Mind Studios has gone live on Steam Early Access last Friday July 18, 2014, as a recent addition to the list of smaller studios who have taken this route to gain early feedback as their game enters the later stages of development. Back in our interview the developers said they wanted to wait till the game was very playable and fun for the customer before they put it up on Steam; there is no release date confirmed, however, they plan to have a final release version by December but leave the door open for delays:

“We intend to release no later than December. Any delays would be to add additional content we didn’t anticipate being able to develop within our release schedule.” ~Blind Mind Studios

Basically, the game is a space 4X game set in pauseable real-time where the player can control the time-lapse considerably by both accelerating and decelerating the speed. Everything happens on the same layer, as fleets engage combat on the star map as the player manages their empire.

The aspects of the game which stand out the most, in my opinion, are the ship customization system – which lets the player scale-up the size of their warship to whatever size his industry can manage, a diplomacy system that involves swaying votes in a senate like system for such actions as annexing worlds, and an empire-wide economy where the player sets up resource networks that influence the development of their planets.

Stability and Ship Customization

The game seems to be stable enough as an Early Access title. Game performance is smooth and unless you go overboard on the size of the galaxy, games load quickly, and I only experienced a few crashes. The largest source of stability issues I experienced stems from running longer games, which seems to make the game more prone to stalling and crash when reloading an older save state. Usually a restart of the game clears these. However, even this was relatively rare in my playtime.

I will cover diplomacy and the economic model more in my “First Impressions” section below. However, I will cover ship customization here as it was one of the defining and memorable features of the first title.

Ship customization has changed a bit from the original Star Ruler. The player can still size their vessel as they wish. Subsystems are now added on a hex grid, but depending on the subsystem the player decides between number and size. There is a difference in having a single 6-hex large railgun or having six 1-hex railguns on your vessel. Increasing the size of a ship doesn’t change the number of hexes it has (that is determined by the model template), but it will increase what 1-hex is worth and does. In addition, placement matters as there is directional damage.

It should be noted the game is still in Early Access and there seems to be a good number of missing features. I have not seen the special weapon systems that were discussed in a previous live stream, nor does the tech tree seem to be complete.

Star Ruler 2 | Ship Designer

List of Features

Game Set-up:

  • An in-game tutorial that introduces new players to the game’s basic mechanics is present in the game.
  • Customize your faction and your enemies’ factions with a set of merits and flaws.
  • Select one of the 4 FTL systems (Star Gates, Fling Beacons, Hyperdrive, and Slipstream) or start a game with only Sub-light engines.
  • Select the number of stars in your galaxy and choose the number of galaxies which will be separated by a large and cold vacuum (though only one shape is given at the moment).

Empire Management and Diplomacy:

  • Colonize worlds and export their resources to build a highly interconnected interstellar economy. Use these resources to influence the growth and direction these worlds take in production.
  • Raise your worlds to maximum level to build powerful wonders that can easily tip the scale in your favour.
  • Acquire Influence actions via the purchasing of cards from a commons pool; use these influence actions to spy on your enemies, designate unique flagships, table proposition for the senate, or influence the vote to pass or block a tabled proposition.
  • Annex the worlds of your enemies peacefully, claim the artifacts of others, designate systems as protected, or open another empire to galactic scrutiny as all factions can spy on them via the diplomacy system by tabling proposition and voting on them.
  • Build space stations that help with production and act as shipyards, as well as economy, defense, and influence based stations.

Ship Building and Combat:

  • Build large flagships that act as the center of your fleets that can be built at any scale.
  • Build smaller support ships that protect planets and space stations, or fill the ranks of your flagships to create fleets.
  • Design the layouts of your support and flagships.
  • Engage in multi-fleet combat and even though individual ships can’t be commanded, multiple fleets can cooperate to flank enemies.
  • Equip weapon systems with special properties that can be used to tip the scale of battle (I have not seen these in the build released on Steam but were mentioned by the developers in the Live Stream)

Others:

  • Research tech by investing in tech branches, and then use the Insights gained through research or exploring debris to unlock special projects (these vary from getting certain modules early to selecting between two exclusive branches to shape your empire) to further advanced your empire.
  • Activate ancient relics left behind by an ancient seeding ship following a programmed routine for powerful bonuses (or kill them off to deny new relics to all players).
  • Play online or via LAN with friends in multiplayer matches, with a built-in IRC chat to speak with the community.
  • The game will be very mod friendly.

Star Ruler 2 | Space Combat

Far from Finished

As mentioned, despite the few stability issues the game runs very smoothly for an E.A. title. However, a few things did stand out: the game is far from complete like there doesn’t seem to be many special projects; the tech tree also seems far from complete; I did not see many modules for the ship customization, especially those hinted at in the Live Stream, which means there is still a long ways to go.

Other elements that show the game is far from complete: the AI can’t handle other forms of FTL so they are locked in using Hyperdrive. There seems to be no pre-built factions (though the tutorial hints they are supposed to exist). The race art seems to be still using the placeholder assets, and there only seems to be one galaxy shape at the moment. Also, there seems to be only one ship-set for visual purposes. There have been hints that there will be more but there has been no confirmation of just how many will be in release.

However, to the game’s credit each critical element of gameplay is present: diplomacy, planet/empire management, wonders, ship customization and combat. It’s just that some of these elements are not in their full iteration.

Here is an excerpt from their Steam Store Page:

“The game is fully playable but is in various states of completeness:

  • Art: Ships, stations, and various components of the interface are using temporary art or do not have their full set of art implemented.
  • Audio: Only about one third of the soundtrack has been finished and many sound effects are placeholders.
  • Mechanics: Core gameplay mechanics are present and functional but are not content complete.
  • Stability and Performance: The game is stable and performs well on our development machines but is likely to encounter issues specific to particular hardware configurations. The only way to improve this is with the help of as many people with different machines as possible.
  • Fun: We believe the game is already fun but there’s plenty of room for more! We’ll continue to add content, improve usability, and add new features according to our existing plan and community feedback.
  • AI: The AI is competent enough to win a game but is easily outsmarted by an experienced player. Continuous progress is made in the AI’s skill but there’s plenty left for it to learn.”

Hopefully, the missing bits will be added by release time. Or, the game will be delayed if it takes longer than predicted. So far, there has been a few patches since release that have begun to address the technical issues and beginning to add to the game.

First Impressions

Overall my experience with this title was a delight. I found that the game does begin to fit the bill of ‘easy to learn and hard to master’ as I quickly grasped every concept of the game after the tutorial but totally fell behind in military production and got curb-stomped in my first play. I admit I am not the best player, I am pretty average, but lately many games I have played I can beat the AI on the hardest setting. So it was refreshing to have my behind handed back to me on a silver platter for once for a game still in Early Access. Not saying the AI is amazing as I quickly learnt to counter it, but it certainly was able to use the mechanics present effectively and still mounts a solid resistance.

Despite being a little random, the card/action based diplomacy system that uses the ‘produced’ resource Influence, seems to work quite well. It immediately feels like you are pushing your agenda’s forward in something that feels like the Space-UN and perform actions such as annexing a system without going to war and other forms of jerk-move real-politics. Giving players another avenue to expand (there is even a Wonder that makes you a Senate Beast or directly annex worlds one at a time). I really liked this and I even came to appreciate the system’s more random elements of acquiring new cards/actions as it kept me on my toes looking out for opportunities to seize.

The economy is highly abstracted and may put off some players. However, one does need to consider the ‘time-tested-and-true’ approach of moving 60% of your population from farming to industry or science on a dime was just equally as abstract, and silly as importing fruit from a planet to another so that you can export its electronics. Once I got past the abstraction, the system seems to mesh very well and creates for an interesting economic model. I get the feeling I am managing a huge empire that is highly interconnected, as I have a few core worlds that act as the center of my empire and dozens of support worlds whose only purpose is to feed my ever hungry and expanding empire. It felt satisfying.

Star Ruler 2 | Colony Screen

There is not much I can add to what was said about ship customization, however. I felt it was easy to grasp and the tool used allows for pretty quick ship designs. The system is surprisingly free-form despite the use of hexes. I wish the tech tree was more fleshed out and the more unique systems were in the game already as this was probably the thing I noticed was missing the most.

Closing Thoughts

The game is very different from its predecessor and I imagine those that were expecting a linear progression HD version of the original Star Ruler may be a little disappointed. However, I still feel the same developers are behind this title and many of the interesting aspects of the previous title are still present. The game is its own game, a slightly different direction as opposed to a direct sequel.

Overall I enjoyed my initial experience with this title, but it definitely won’t pass as a finished product and hopefully the game will be in the state it should be in for the release version when that day comes.

However, it is still an Early Access game and Steam has made it clear that there is no guarantee of satisfaction or even completion with these titles. Practically invoking Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) to the tee. Personally, I tend to see Early Access as something closer to a Kickstarter except that you have less options of investment and you get an immediate early copy. However, the principle is the same; you are not getting a finished product and are taking a huge risk. It is not meant for everyone.

If you are uncertain, it is best to wait for the full release at which point the game will have a tonne of Let’s Play, Early Impressions, Updated News, and probably have its first Reviews coming out soon. Early Access is for the adventurous or risky sort, or those that wish to support a developer.

We will bring you more information about this title as it nears completion and offer a comprehensive review after release. Feel free to ask any questions or leave your own impressions of this title in the comments section below.

Star Ruler 2 is available on Steam Early Access for $19.99 USD. Since the game is in Early Access it can only be purchased from Steam at the moment, however, there are plans to have the game distributed at other outlets after release (no confirmation on which). Though the current version uses Steam to download and update, the game can be launched from the desktop without the Steam Client active (completely turned off, not just the offline mode) after installation.

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45 Comments


  1. Echo2361 says:

    Solid first impressions review of the early access SR2 experience so far. The innovative diplomacy, ship building, and empire economy management are all the key things I’ve been enjoying the most in my time with the game so far. Hopefully, once we get a more fleshed out tech tree and some updated art assets, the game will feel more complete before officially being released but it is certainly off to a good start.

  2. StarMate says:

    well the game looks fine for some quick multiplayer sessions, but overall the game has some steps forward from SR1 but also some steps backwards. some parts are improved and some parts have become worse compared to the predecessor.

    the economy system (1 resource per planet and link other planets which need the resource) is more or less a simplified version of the resource system in the anno-series (which isn’t necessary a bad thing). but they almost completely removed the planetary building / developement aspect of the game.

    you can’t build single ships but only a fleet where combat happends between two or more fleet-blobs firing at each other (ship design and directional damage and the sense behind it is for me questional if only blobs attack each other from face to face). overall the combat model seems a bit disappointing.

    the diplomacy has a nice unique way with action cards which use influence points but except from some unique diplomatic actions like annex planet / system, they game hasn’t a deep relation system between factions (no mutual-defense pact and the likes).

    there aren’t real races in the game but you can customize your empire by changing some starting parameters which either affect the starting resources or the starting homeworld and the way your traveling works (FTL, warp gates, etc.). so there aren’t real races with different playstyles in the game (only an empire with different starting tech / situation).

    overall it seems to be a star ruler 1.5 with some nice ideas but with not much more depth than its predecessor but rather some more streamlining (so some less depth in many regards compared to SR1).

    overall i have to say that sadly nothing can hold a candle to the 4x spacegame / grand strategy king Distant Worlds – Universe is.

    • Firgof says:

      Our economy was actually inspired by the Ceaser series (specifically Ceaser III and the Villa building IIRC), not the Anno series. Also, you can certainly build single ships – this is what the Battleship and Scout designs represent.

  3. salvo says:

    totally agree, the game is indeed already a delight to play, ‘easy to play and hard to master’ at its best, in fact the AI is keeping crushing me :-)

  4. Todd says:

    I dabbled with the original SR.. for the LP I’ve watched of it, it seems to have a steep learning curve, is that not the case? Are the tutorials good enough to jump in and get going?

    • Yeah the Tutorials for me were pretty good. I would say they felt finished as well which is unusual for a Early Access title.

      The learning curve is also a lot better in this than the first title but some of the complexity that made the original Star Ruler great is missing. Still not sure if that is a good thing or bad.

  5. Buxaroo says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know this was coming out anytime soon, let alone already on EA. SR2 needs more adverts :).

    Anyways, I bought Star Ruler 1 long time ago, got it relatively cheap as well, but for some reasons I loved the concept of the game and the depth of the economy etc, but I just couldn’t get into the game like I wanted. It felt a little too impersonal and didn’t like the way that I could rarely see ships, but 99% of the time just the icon (I guess Sins spoiled me in this way). The GUI was workable but a bit too spreadsheety for me if I could describe it like that for the lack of a better phrase.

    But seeing the videos of this sequel, and the in depth, but very manageable GUI, I see that this is truly a sequel and not just a cash in. The ship design reminds me a lot of Star Drive and that’s a good thing. I see someone was complaining on the Steam forums about the ship design being not sandboxy enough like the first one, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. I know some people preferred the free for all design of the first game, but I am not that concerned over it.

    Anyways, going to buy this next week, I really like what I see. Even though I prefer turn based 4x games in general, they seem to have did pretty well with it this time.

  6. ashbery76 says:

    After a few hours messing around I like it more than SR1 already.

    I would also like to see more 1 on 1 relations like trade and alliances rather than everything going through the senate.The senate is pretty cool.

    The one thing the game lacks is immersion and Theme.The first game also suffered a lot for it.I get no sense of who and what the races and their history are.

  7. t1it says:

    Interesting, a working AI in beta, half a year from release?
    Me gusta:)

  8. Todd says:

    I understand some people really like the Distant Worlds series, but I just find it so boring.. to each his own I guess. I think I’ll pick this one up, I’m always a sucker for 4x games, even in Alpha and Beta. I like supporting “out of the box” developers like Amplitude…. BMS seems like they have done some different things with respect to diplomacy and empire economy management.

  9. Benji says:

    Must say I didn’t really get into SR1 all that much. Somehow it was just a bit too… difficult to have suspended disbelief and feel like I was really managing an empire. But this sounds great. Really looking forward to the release!

  10. Mezmorki says:

    From the initial sound of things, this one is probably what I’m looking forward to the most at the moment. I’ll be watching how it shapes up for sure. I’m all for games that explore more novel and linked ways of dealing with production/economy, politics, etc beyond the typical path of least resistance approaches of so many other games.

  11. Smurph says:

    I really liked SR1. It did lots of things that I thought were innovative with the economy especially and I wish more games would imitate some of that stuff. But it had that problem lots of 4X games get where it started to feel like work in the mid to late game. I think a lot of the changes in SR2 will help solve that problem. I actually like the idea of just producing and managing fleets rather than individual ships. Definitely planning on getting this.

  12. Smoking Robot says:

    This looks great – I’m liking it far better than say, GalcivIII. If the gameplay is there this could be a real winner.

    Thanks for keeping us updated on this….

  13. ACEofHeart says:

    Maybe I’m alone but it looks more like a “Windows” program than an personal experience “Space Strategy game” … The Interface is ridiculous.
    Go back and look at Master of Orion 2 main interface,, just control buttons below a galaxy of stars.. you felt like you were peering into space from your console. MOO2 didn’t need all the Lines, Circles, and tabs just to show ownership of any solar system, it just subtlety colored the galaxy name to show who was in it, nothing else..
    Save the spreadsheets for accounting,,not games. :)

  14. Todd says:

    I think the tabs actually work, once you get used to the UI. I’m really liking the diplomacy and other elements of the game. Much different than I was expecting for a sequel. Can’t wait to see where they take SR2.

    • Smoking Robot says:

      Tabs seem pretty practical to me. And I LOVE the fact that the interface is big enough to see without squinting or getting out a magnifying glass.

      I thought I was done with early access but I may sign up for this just to show my support.

      • Todd says:

        Agree about the interface.. that’s why I love the big screen option in Endless Legend. :)

        • Smoking Robot says:

          Big screen option? Where is that?

        • Todd says:

          In the options under UI “Big Screen User Interface” check that box and it makes the UI much bigger and easier to read if you have a decent sized monitor and use higher resolutions.

  15. Jeff P says:

    I’ve grown very weary of RTS 4X games, and am not sure I’ll pick this up (unless, of course, it appears during a cheaper-than-dirt Steam sale.)

    In my opinion, almost all RTS games suffer from 2 enjoyment-killing problems: mid to late game they spin-out of control with multiple events occurring at the same time, forcing you to depend on the (normally incompetent) AI to handle things. At that point, all I want is for the game to end, hardly an optimal outcome. Secondly, suspension of disbelief is particularly difficult in an RTS. Consider that civilizational strategy, in real life, is measured in months, years and decades, while tactical situations occur in days, hours, or minutes. In an RTS, however, both aspects of the game use the same time units, meaning that either your civilization’s development is turbo-charged or battles are occurring at a snail’s pace.

    This has been true of every RTS I’ve played, including Distant Worlds, Hegemony, Imperium Galactica, Sins, and… Star Ruler. I see no evidence that SR2 will be any different. It is arguable that the ONLY RTS 4X that didn’t suffer from these problems is Starships Unlimited (STUN), which would notify the player of combat and pause the strategic portion while combat was resolved. STUN, an old game, is no longer supported nor has any other developer adopted this format.

    For my money, the best format is turn-based strategic play, real-time combat. Failing that, I prefer all elements to be turn-based.

    • Happy Corner says:

      To be fair, the time-abstraction problem happens all the time in turn-based games, too. Take the Civilization games, for example. In the early game it can take literally centuries to move a unit from one city to another, and even in the late game (with turns down to 1 year), the smallest skirmish between two units still takes the whole year.

      • Jeff P says:

        Again, to be fair, a skirmish that takes one turn (one year) could be said to have occurred during that year. I maintain that is easier to swallow than units being constructed, trained, upgraded and moved into combat during the course of a battle.

        I guess it is whatever floats your boat.

        • Happy Corner says:

          “I guess it is whatever floats your boat.”

          This. RTS or turn-based, at some point you just have to look past the unrealism and enjoy the game for what it is.

    • Mark says:

      I totally agree with your point about things spiraling out of control in an RTS when multiple simultaneous events start to occur in different parts of the game. Even if pausable it doesn’t help much because you can only look at a paused “snapshot” of all these events. And when you eventually have to un-pause you can still only focus on one thing while all the others continue to progress unseen in the background. Is the AI doing a good job of handling them? Who knows, certainly not the player.

      This is a huge design problem with Distant Worlds and makes dense 1400 star galaxies all but unplayable from early mid game onwards unless you automate almost everything. In fact I have been playing all my recent DW games with only 250 stars and loving the lack of hectic, chaotic frustration. If anyone feels the same way about DW, give it a try with only 250 stars, It plays pretty much the same way but you actually feel like you’re in control of the game for a change.

      And yes, STUN does indeed solve the problem beautifully. I still play it regularly and consider it to be one of the best space 4x games ever made. Pity the dev doesn’t seem interested in a sequel, his design casually and effortlessly solved the RT problem which has ruined many games with much more development manpower and dollars behind them.

      • Happy Corner says:

        I feel the same way you do about Distant Worlds. I like that game a lot, but I’d never try to play it on anything larger than a medium-sized map, automation or not. People who complain about the pace and message-spam of that game should follow your advice and try playing on a small map. They might be pleasantly surprised!

        • Alien JD says:

          I’ll second that. I much prefer playing DW on medium to small maps.

          SR2 looks good and I’ll pick it up. It looks like a huge leap forward over the first game.

        • lammaer says:

          Exactly the same on my side.

          I don’t know why lot of 4x games goes this ‘you can control empires spanning 1600 star systems’ way.

          Every time I see advertisements like this, I silently pray if there is a small map option and if that is playable (because sometimes the small map cripples the AI or limits the available resources too much and the gameplay wont be good)

          DW I also play with relatively small amounts of stars… I definitely get confused if I have more than 20+ colonies in my empire :)

      • meprun says:

        How bigger the universe, The more i like the game is certanly true! I play Distant stars at max stars (1400) and do not have a problem with manualy manage al planets. Although i can see the whole universe now and i am the strongest emprie. Its gets a little boring. Just expanding with the same tools and events. Because there is no tactical depth. And thats where the fun ends. my opinion is that a game doesnt need to be big, if it has enough events. Most 4x space games make it far to easy to colonize a start. What made moo2 populair is unlimited costumization. Because it whas based on unlimited values on attributes. Every 4x space game schould have this option.

  16. Mr Wave says:

    Mr Wave says that this game could use a good facelift. Try to incorporate at least a DX10 graphical front end. These days games are about graphics as much as they are about gameplay.

    Mr Wave wishes you good luck and a prosperous game release.

    • Mark says:

      No offense, but I disagree entirely. Graphics are nice but they are the very last thing I look for – after everything else has been taken into consideration – when deciding to purchase a game.

      If the devs have money for “X” number of coding hours to make a game I would vastly prefer that they spend those hours on making the game fun, deep, interesting and clever rather than pretty.

      That being said, if the game is *also* pretty, It’s a nice bonus…

  17. lammaer says:

    Hey, I miss the “game has potential” part from the preview :)
    This is a mandatory part in the Early Access world we live… :D

  18. meprun says:

    A good 4x game needs 8 dimensions:

    galaxy setup en empire setup=best ive ever seen, gives me hope.

    strategic colony managment= looks like it lacks space monsters, very linear, minor empires, and no specials.

    tactical colony management looks poor, with easily maxed system for building. it a pity because the economic system looks fun, but without good invests its a waste. the horizon colony management system is the best for me. because the room management method where you place buildings on planets is a bid unrealistic and a waste of complex variables.

    tactical space combat=i only ask for 3 things. schield management, weapon management, power management, ships specials and manouvers. This game only adds fleet management. My opionion is poor, but this a breaking point for me to keep playing this game or not. tactical space combat is bad with many 4x games and this is in contrast one of the better ones. Even better than my favorite of this moment distant stars. witch really lacks tactical dept.

    No ground combat, but annex planets.

    research must be based on existing values so that it cannot be easily maxed. The systeem looks average.

    ship design. The best was that of stardrive(without the bugs). it looks average to promising

    empire management and surroundings. Looks good,but i stopped playing the beta for now because at the startup al races where visible. I presume this will be corrected?

    For me the 4x gameplay is not the best, even with some tweaks. Due to the colony management and not prefered battles. But With much improvement on stategic colony management the game can be very interesting a nice to play!

  19. Seth says:

    I’m loving the interface, simple and well-organised, colourful and the tab system is just awesome, especially on this kind of games. It kind of feels like playing a browser game in google chrome.

  20. giogionis says:

    seems like a great game the first one didnt like me some control problems and no mods worth of playing but i have seen some vids and the ships seems great

  21. csebal says:

    Haven’t mentioned this game in a while, however it is out officially now. Any first impressions from anyone, or recent feedback from the early access phase?

  22. Gary Vandegrift says:

    I just noticed on Steam that this game was released this past Friday. Any ETA on a review of Star Ruler 2, now that it’s been released?

  23. csebal says:

    I actually went ahead and bought it after watching a few people on twitch play the game.

    So far, I like the changes done to the game. The diplomacy system with the influence points and cards you can play out is a surprisingly deep and entertaining system.

    The general resource mechanics have lots of hidden depth, though I find managing it a little tiresome, so much in fact that there are times when the game feels like a clone of the old puzzle game “pipe mania”. Keeping your economy growing requires quite a lot of thought and planning.

    The budget system, where you spend from a time limited money pool that is not carried over between periods also adds some interesting challenges and aspects to the game. It encourages you to spend, as you cannot save up, however you have to be mindful on what you spend on, as maintenance costs can easily pile up to push your budget into the red.

    Research is hard to manage, as it suffers from the Civ:BE syndrome of things being all over the place, with no organization or structure. You want to increase your FTL cap? Better be ready to do some digging, as the various techs for that are all over the place in the tech tree. Certainly an area that needs improving, even if the general idea of a tech web is not a bad one.

    Good ship designs are still tedious to create as the layout can greatly influence effectiveness, however you are not able to control ships directly. This means that you need to be mindful of how you design them, as minor weaknesses can turn out to be fatal simply due to how it interacts with the automated nature of the ships.

    On the bright side, there is quite a lot of support for ship building, starting with the ability to import-export designs, download them from steam workshop (or upload them there) or use the built in design arena, where you can design ships with all techs unlocked and test them in various combinations to see their effectiveness.

    Combat in itself is better looking than SR Prime, but still not too fancy. You actually have no control over individual ships, but rather control fleets composed of one flagship and many supporting ships. The built-in support designs can be a little misleading, as they are kinda small, however you can easily just create support designs which are just as large as the flagship itself.

    The key here is that you need one CnC ship, which can then support a fixed number of size points worth of ships in the fleet. Whether you make 700 fighters or 7 size 100 battleships is up to you really. Also worth mentioning, that only flagships have maintenance costs, support ships only cost you money at the time of making, their maintenance is paid for through the cost of the flagship. This also means, that flagships are generally expensive business to create and maintain.

    Last, but not least, the races.. there was definitely some great work done in that area. There are 7 races in the game by default, each of them have 3 aspects:
    Government – 5 options, essentially determining what starting bonuses you will have
    FTL – 5 options, besides STL, there are 4 different FTL techniques used by the various races.
    Life – 7 options, largely determining how the race plays. Each of the 7 races plays and feels differently and you can also customize them, picking any combination of the three aspects or just set them to random if you want to be suprised.

    While it is early for me to tell how this game will perform on the long run or how well the AI can cope or how the end-game plays out, I can already tell, that it is way ahead of its predecessor.

    • Ashbery76 says:

      I agree the senate diplomacy is superb and needs to be copied.The rest of the game I am still debating.The resources system is interesting but I think it might be become boring busy work after a few games.

      • Meprun says:

        Yes the Card and diplomacy system is a 9 or 10. But many other simple game element are making it a poor game. 4 Shipsets with only difference in size battles are not superb. But the tactics are interesting. Let me put it this way, the best way to describe te games is at a

        strategic level a 5,6 or 7
        tactic level a 8 or 9
        operational 8
        graphics level a 5

  24. Meprun says:

    I Havent played this game since OKT 2014. I didnt play it then because of unstable gameplay, to less space creatures and because it didnt looked finished. It had nice themes though, like its ship design and card system for research and diplomacy.

    Four days ago i started playing. I get all excited by 4x games so i started with a big galaxy 200 four times…wow! First mayor spoiler was that the custom race view has less traits than in the beta version and they can be saved, but not be mass imported. In my big galaxy i made 24 races, all custom. I could not be happier:) But 24 times importing is a very annoying. Even for me!

    When i began i was like a kid i a candy store, the card and shipbuilding system is made by a genius. But like a genius game i replay it many times when i made a tiny error. Now four days later i am starting all over again for the 10 time with the saves its 200 or so. No problem, but what is that the game is still unstable at loading save games and even in the game i am being dropped. In my big galaxy i am still beginning and building my first system, i like the game. Its had very genius things that should be adopted. But on some parts its very meagre, simple things as mass import and stability. I hope that the game it still good when i play it further with more starsystems. I think its going to be less good and more bad. Explorering options and great meneces are a keyword in this for an average Judgement. I am glad that this game shows a new approach for 4x games, not a tech tree or diplomatic dropdown, but a card system with bonuses. And also a good fleet manager. Only thing it like differend now is the smal population cap. i hate it when my planets are full of people and cannot grow. Although this loss of growd is corrected with the economic model with future options. This is also a new approach!


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