Battle Klaxon: Neptune’s Pride Before A Fall

By Kieron Gillen on February 10th, 2010 at 11:15 am.

I almost edited this screenshot to remove important data from it. That's bloody Neptune's Pride.

The RPS battle of Neptune’s Pride treads steadily on. We’re reaching that late-1917 in WW1 period of exhaustion, and we’re still trying to work out how we’re going to write it up. However, to get a taste for it, here’s Quinns writing about it for Game Set Watch. He sums up the game so…

Neptune’s Pride is a game of two things:

#1: Intergalactic War
#2: Being a jerk

He’s not entirely wrong. Read more here.

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54 Comments »

  1. RHippy says:

    I just finished my first game. Other than the annoying habit of players turning AI all the bloody time it was good fun. I think it took about 3 weeks to end a free game, culminating on me doing a massive landgrab to get the last 40+ planets as fast as possible. Diplomacy (jerkiness) clearly rules. Taking a couple of days off from it before investing my hard won credits in a premium game.

    • Quinns says:

      I’m waiting for them to implement the special-rule-for-each-race feature. Shouldn’t be too long now.

  2. Arsewisely says:

    Gah, games that encourage such an investment of time are a slow death when the tide turns and you begin to lose.

    I’m currently being dismantled in two games of NP, I may as well not bother playing but I keep checking back in out of some kind of morbid curiosity.

    • PixelCody says:

      I’ve seen this problem first hand in both Planetarion and Travian. Who really wants to keep returning to a losing game and continue playing for the benefit of others?

      In those games players left behind husk civilisations to be farmed. I’ve also heard the guys on the Three Moves Ahead podcast talk of game-fade when losing players lose the will to submit turns in play by email games. At least this game seemingly has AI to take over.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      PixelCody: The difference between Travian and Neptune’s Pride is kinda of scale. As in, your loss is something which is actually kind of within your control. It’s not groups of dozens of people who will do whatever you want with you.

      KG

    • PixelCody says:

      Yeah, I’m imagining it to be an incredibly slow 8-player game of Sins of a Solar Empire.

      I’ll be giving it a shot soon. I just know that I’m incredibly sore loser and this has been factoring into my hesitance to buy Solium Infernum, despite my repeated playing of the 25 turn demo.

    • Wulf says:

      One thing that surprises me is that everyone is interested in being a jerk in these games. Does anyone ever rush in to save the day? For example, you can gift planets… so rushing in to save the day in this case would be taking over planets that were taken from their original owner, and then gifting them back to their original owner.

      Does anyone actually ever do anything like that? Or is it just completely a game of arseholes? If I manage to become powerful enough in my game, that’s precisely what I’m going to do if anyone requests my help. >.> Yep, naive, I’d probably lose because of it but I’d feel pretty good about it.

    • P7uen says:

      @Wulf

      I just happened to join a game of all RPSers and it’s very gentlemanly. Good natured fisticuffs and handbags at dawn, but no jerks.

      Except whoever’s winning at any given point in time. They’re jerks. Except when it was me.

    • Arathain says:

      Arsewisely: at this point, I’m screwed also. Still, whoever wants to finish me better have a whole lot of ships to do it with! I think Yellow’s been finding that out the hard way. Still, it’s not like there’s anyone who can take advantage of that.

  3. Schmung says:

    I got my ass handed to me comprehensively in the first two games I played due to my own ignorance. The third one (that I’m playing in with Arsewisely) is faring somewhat better.

    • rxtx says:

      Maybe for now, but wait till your ships hit my defences! Foolish turtle people…

    • Schmung says:

      Yeah, I made that statement with undue haste. War on all fronts is never good. D’oh!

  4. RHippy says:

    I had no real idea what I was doing to begin with, but some convenient alliances and a hint of dodgy-dealing seemed to get things going, then people started dropping away and it was a mad rush to get the stars before the AI did anything nasty. The endgame was a bit of a drag.

  5. arqueturus says:

    I’m still in my first game at the minute. I do like the slow burn of it but I feel it’s a binary at the moment combat wise. That will get altered in the future I’m sure but they still need to keep it simple so I think there’s some hard balancing ahead.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Ah the slow burn of watching a 100 ship fleet assemble just outside of your region. The desperate checking to see if its left for a target, and whether or not you can mobilise your fleet to get there first…

      By the way I know you’re reading this green… BRING IT ON!!

    • rxtx says:

      It baffles me how you’re so intent on starting a fight – I tell you its that blue you want to look out for. Once he has enough stars hes going to backstab you and get the rest!

    • Vague-rant says:

      Well, part of it is annoyance from you gifting the AI attack upgrades that made me go from a blitzkreig into a kind of trench warfare where I have to slowly advance and I’m still stuck in a war, i thought wold be over days ago.

      Part of it is loyalty. Another part is that you attacked my stars first. Oh and finally I don’t like the colour green.

  6. Alexander Norris says:

    I keep being asked if I want to join in on a game by some of the RPS chaps, but I just don’t have the time or inclination to play, really; which is a shame, since I get the feeling I’m missing out on something fun. On the other hand, I much prefer cooperative gameplay to adversarial stuff, which is why I’m so rubbish at Solium Infernum I guess.

    • Arathain says:

      Well, it’s really not a demanding game time-wise. The input required per day to keep things going is quite minimal. If you’re taking time it’s because you’re writing elaborate threats and proposals to your neighbours.

  7. Ging says:

    I won the first game I was in, came third in the second and my current game has seen me reduced to a single system, which is stuck away in a remote corner yet protected by a buffer of other systems that I created by giving away systems to the player who was at the time in second place.

    All because the guy north of me was a dick and essentially declared war when I tried to leave the small bit of space I was stuck in early on and happened to take one of his furthest out systems (range > sensors leads to these issues). I missed a couple of updates, so he got the upper hand and stomped me quite comprehensively – then said I should pay him funds and research to stop (it was about then that I took to giving research and planets to other players)

  8. scoopsy says:

    Exhausting. I think this game is interesting and has promise, but the investment of time required to play is insane. My wife has never been so happy to hear that one of my computer games is over as when my game of Neptune’s Pride ended after a month.

    It’s a shame too, as it is a neat idea.

    • Vague-rant says:

      It doesn’t really take that long does it? I’ve just been checking every now and then and its only for about 5 mins at a time.

      The player who checks more often does of course have the advantage, but overall its only a slight edge compared to say having an alliance, or having better research.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Vague-rant: It… well, it can depend. That waiting until someone goes to sleep before doing something is a prime tactic says much.

      KG

    • Vague-rant says:

      True. But that doesn’t seem to have factored too much in the game I’m in. At least in part because I think this is our first game (only figured out garrison a few days ago) but also because I really can’t understand their sleeping patterns from the game. (I swear orange never sleeps dammit!).

    • P7uen says:

      Mwahaha the orange blue-head people do not require sleep or toilet facilities.

      In terms of clicking time yes it’s minimal. But as someone mentioned previously, in terms of oh-god-I-know-nothing’s-moving-but-I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-my-strategy time, I find I’m invested enormously.

  9. Stabby says:

    That image of the game reminds me of Stars! I used to love that game.

  10. Vandelay says:

    I started playing my first game of this on Sunday, which I promptly forgot about on Monday. It wasn’t until I saw this post did I remember about it.

    Thankfully, I’m not dead yet. The guy north of me seems to be sending ships my way, so it looks like I returned just in time. It was also a bit lucky that I managed to do quite a bit of star grabbing on my first day, so I’m not even the weakest player at the mo (I would guess that one other person also forgot about the game, and he happens to be my neighbour.)

    Looks like this could be fun and I’m not getting the same sense of this being a massive time sink as others other. It only takes a few seconds to make some changes to the game, so I can’t imagine sitting down to it for much longer than 10-15 mins at a time (perhaps I’m being naïve about the late game.)

  11. Malibu Stacey says:

    Sounds a lot like VGA planets (in a good way). Might give it a look.

    Quinns do you know if they’ll be adding Iron anytime soon……

  12. Psychopomp says:

    [Space ship pew pew game here] is a game of two things:

    #1: Intergalactic War
    #2: Being a jerk

  13. Frenz0rz says:

    Awesome little game this, just started a round and have plotted my expansion amongst the stars. Already got a tech deal going with a chap down the other end of the cosmos, and if that relationship continues I can see a profitable future for the Frenz0rz Empire :)

    • cyrenic says:

      @Frenz0rz

      Thanks for that little bit of information. I’m sure I’ll utterly fail to use it to my advantage.

      (Yes, I’m in your game :D)

    • Frenz0rz says:

      @cyrenic

      Oh bugger. I’d best keep my mouth shut then :D

  14. Vando says:

    I managed to pull off the fabled ‘be nice to everyone and still win’ manoeuvre in my last game.

    Step 1: be nice to everyone.
    Step 2: feed intel to the guy adjacent to the guy stomping my face so he can stab him in the back.
    Step 3: when the guy I’ve been been feeding said intel to gets curbstomped by the remaining two large factions, he cuts his losses and gifts all his remaining holdings to me.
    Step 4: grab half a dozen more stars and win.

    Amusingly, after a terrible start I’d already given up on winning and had decided to play kingmaker. Only to turn round and apologetically defeat the guy I’d been pumping tech to until that point.

  15. Kelron says:

    Just started a game, it looks interesting.

  16. Andrew Simone says:

    It looks an aweful lot like MOO2 which, believe me, is a compliment.

  17. OctaneHugo says:

    I’ve been playing this for a week or two now and it’s great fun. I’m in the process of nearly winning one of the games I’m playing.

    By the way, I was about to talk about my strategy in that game, but similar to the author I have elected against it, lest my loose tongue reveal critical plans to my enemies.

  18. Paxeh says:

    I just joined this thing.

    Game 241

    Anyone fancy giving this a go? I have no idea how it works.

    • Labbes says:

      I’m in the same boat (and game), currently reading through the “Help” part on the website. I’m sure I will get crushed, but what the hell^^

    • imirk says:

      So it looks like at least 4 of us are complete nubs :D

  19. imirk says:

    Does anyone pay for premium games? BTW PaxeH GL

  20. Lilliput King says:

    Signed up for 241, good luck you guys.

  21. Jon says:

    I’m in game 240 as ThatGuyJon. If anyone else here is in there, do they want to team up?

  22. Aninhumer says:

    I played with a friend, communicating over IM, which made for a strong initial level of trust, and a dramatic inevitable betrayal. However after this, I felt pretty helpless against his oncoming army. There was no way I could catch up to him, and every planet he took just sped up his production against me.

    And then he got bored.

    He gifted me his best stuff and stopped playing… I soon found out why he got bored. Having such a huge army, and vast resources, victory felt inevitable and the game became pointing your death fleet at stars and waiting until the next day. I even gave some of the stuff away at one point because it was just too unbalanced to be fun. It didn’t really help.

    All that said, up until that point, we had a lot of fun managing our communications with the player between us (that was you Kaltano, if you’re reading) to avoid suspicion of us being friends. We were probably overthinking it massively, but it seems that’s what this game is about. The slow pace left me staring at the map wondering whether now was the right time to screw Cyan? Is my army big enough? How many ships do I need to take his capital? If I attacked him, where could he retaliate? He can only get to those planets right? If I defend them, I should be fine…? WHAT IF HE RESEARCHES RANGE??

    I probably shouldn’t start another game…

  23. Wednesday says:

    Just joined 252( I think) as Mr Tralfamadore

  24. sinister agent says:

    Just started a game of this. I am being characteristically honest to the borders of folly. If this game turns out anything like real life, this will continue until someone’s inevitable treachery crosses an arbitrary line in my head, at which point I will take the gloves off and obliterate them with a righteous fury. Or log in to find I’ve been wiped out in my sleep, but hey ho.

    Cheers for the link, gents.

  25. Stromko says:

    I got into game 218 a few days ago. I’m in a bit of a fragile state since I’m smack dab in the middle of the galaxy, and my eastern neighbor has been completely inactive which has allowed me to seize numerous border stars.

    So I’m the middle player with 5 more stars than anyone else which naturally places a big bullseye on my forehead. I’m already seeing a 30-ship fleet on my western border, which spurred me to try a few diplomatic entreaties to nearby and remote players.

    I finally forced myself to close the game window today when I realized I’d been second-guessing myself for the better part of an hour, and there’s really nothing I can do until tomorrow when my empire has money again.

    • DemonicFerret says:

      I knew you seemed like an RPSer. Anyone else from 218 around these parts?

  26. Prettiest Boy on the Planet says:

    Goodness, we’re in the same game. Good luck to you as well!

  27. Primar says:

    Apparently, this is how I have fun, now.

    This is totally going to bite me in the arse when someone in my game reads this comment.

  28. sinister agent says:

    Finished!

    That was great fun. I wasn’t aggressive enough at the start, and made a stupid mistake in sending a message to the wrong person that flared into a war. But despite going down very quickly to about four planets to everyone else’s 15, thanks to the help of a loyal ally, and thanks to being a two-faced bastard to everyone else and making use of the only edge I had – the potential to dedicate my life to annoying whoever was least nice to me – I managed to survive long enough to regain a little land and take 5th place.

    I must say, even the people who stomped on me were really rather lovely to play with. I’m disappointed that three people dropped out, though. One in particular pretty much ended the game when they dropped out, as once their empire was left to the AI, it decided to put its entire fleet on one utterly worthless rock on the least threatening border, and furiously attack the weakest player in the game (me) while the strongest hoovered up their entire heartland. This was, of course, at the point in the game where only a united front of everyone in the universe against the lead player stood a chance.

    I like the concept, and it works well, but it does seem to have some big flaws that need addressing., mostly to do with absenteeism. I’m not convinced that adding permanent alliances and varied races will work in its favour, either. In fact I rather like their omission.

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