Sins Of A Solar Sieve-brain

By Jim Rossignol on February 17th, 2010 at 6:25 pm.


Aha! I knew I had downloaded something interesting and then forgotten about it. That something, I now realise, was Diplomacy, the latest expansion for Sins Of A Solar Empire. It came out last week, and I had a nagging feeling there was something I was meant to be playing… just couldn’t put my finger on it. Anyway, it looks a lot like this expansion finishes off the SOASE experience, with a range of political options for this real-time space strategy – envoys, pacts, missions in multiplayer. Rather than wait for another week for me to get around to playing a full game, I thought I’d open it up to you lot. Who’s playing it? Any thoughts on worthiness of the new features?

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37 Comments »

  1. Flameberge says:

    Kinda slightly off-topic for an early comment, oops: Where can you get Sins from? I’ve always fancied giving it a go after enjoying the demo, but found it quite hard to buy anywhere at a decent price. If there’s another expansion out, maybe it’s time to jump in…

    • Antilogic says:

      Impluse, from Stardock.

    • Flameberge says:

      oooh, how exciting. Thanks muchly to you both.

    • James G says:

      Alternatively, if you are a Britisher, or otherwise have access to GAME, then you can buy the Space Unlimited Compilation, containing Sins (without expansions), Gal Civ II Ultimate Edition (Ie. With Expansions), Star Assult (Err…) and Dark Star One (uhh…), for £15. The same pack is probably available elsewhere for a similar price.

      Of course, if you definitely want the expansions, and/or already own GalCivII then other deals will probably be better.

    • dadioflex says:

      Sins is seven quid on Amazon, installs to Impulse just like a download and you can get the expansions for another 13 quid or so. OR buy the trinity deal off Impulse for twenty five quid… I’m still holding out for a cheap bundle on Impulse. I didn’t care for the demo but the expanded options interest me.

  2. Scroll says:

    Only done a few short matches of Diplomacy but it’s a far more terrifying game purely because the AI is worth a damn now and there’s almost too many research trees.

    Great game overall and it satisfies that Homeworld itch. Well until Relic reveal homeworld 3.

  3. DMJ says:

    I’m enjoying games of SoaSE at the moment. They’re suitably long-term strategy games. You can sink two evenings into a medium-sized game, easily. Diplomacy didn’t have as big an impact on games as Entrenchment did – the enormous heavily-armed starbases still squat massively on the playing field like an elephant on a chess board.

    • archonsod says:

      I think it’s simply more subtle in the changes than Entrenchment. I mean the pirate buff alone is pretty dramatic; keeping a bounty on an enemy is now a real threat rather than a free experience farm. Similarly, the ability to give missions to other players (even AI) means you can play the maniacal genius and pit your rivals against each other while you grow your empire in the background.

      There’s no out and out changes like new warships or the like, but there’s now far more interesting tools at your disposal than sheer brute force.

  4. Wednesday says:

    Have they fixed those bloody medic ships yet?

    I recall the moment I totally gave up on Sins. My entire fleet, my entire giant duck-off death fleet was attacking an enemy capitol ship, and they had so many damn medic ships it was getting healed faster then I could damage it!

    Just kill them you say? That’d take so much time the enemy could have attacked me with hummous and I sill wouldn’t have won before I was wiped out.

    • Scroll says:

      Then build more carriers and then bombers, should do the trick.

      Or attack earlier to prevent them from having a massive fleet.

      You win or lose a game of Sins based upon resource management more often than anything else, it’s worth paying more attention to that aspect as well.

    • Wednesday says:

      It’s not that I wasn’t winning, it was never that hard on the difficulties I played on, it just seemed every battle was primarily concerned with bringing more med ships than the other guy, and blowing them up before getting to the actual fight, which got in the way of the space shooty coolness for me.

  5. Jimbo says:

    Did they ever get around to that campaign they said they were gonna do?

  6. the wiseass says:

    I love this game, but to be honest I never noticed any big differences between the original an entrenchment. I’m not the biggest diplomat out there when playing RTS, I’m more the “build bigger army seek and destroy” kinds of type, so I’m not sure if this expansion will be worth my money.

    I’d have preferred of they had released some kind of campaign. But yeah, there are a lot of “I” in this post.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    I wish sots and soase would have dirty sex. The baby would be something beautiful.

    I find soase a little to analogus of warcraft 3. Sure the base building limits are excellent and an excellent abstraction of economy, but the combat? About stacking hard counters and powers, but nothing compared to the strategy of company of heroes, but its not 4x enough to compare to other space strategy games.

    I still enjoy the game, it just feels unfinished somehow. I’ll be very interested to see the communities take on these expansions a few months on.

  8. Furniture Merchant says:

    I never played Sins, wanted too but could never bring myself to saddle up with a second digital distribution service.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      I can almost see your point but considering how much less invasive it is and from what I’ve seen has no region lock it’s a much better service than Steam. For one, you don’t have to have it running in the background to play your game. Nor does it phone home constantly. Offline play is truely offline.

  9. Troy Goodfellow says:

    We just finished a Three Moves Ahead episode on the expansion. (http://flashofsteel.com/index.php/2010/02/16/three-moves-ahead-episode-52-sins-of-a-solar-empire-diplomacy/) and the verdict is that it is very, very good.

    It’s still not clear if the AI really knows what it’s doing with the diplomatic stuff, but the base AI is good enough at the other things that it might not matter.

  10. Vinraith says:

    It’s two years too late to fix Sins broken-ass diplomacy system, I’m afraid. In a world that contains SotS, there’s really no reason to ever go back.

    • Latterman says:

      Is Sword of the Stars really *that* good? I’m enjoying SoaSE Trinity even in Single Player but didn’t really try SotS yet. Is there a recent demo?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Latterman

      I don’t want to oversell it, but for me SotS is (with the exception of being turn based) basically the game I wanted Sins to be. As to a recent demo, there isn’t one that includes the latest expansions, and that’s a damn shame as they add enormously to the depth of gameplay. The most recent demo available, as far as I know, is this one:

      http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8679

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Funny, I own both and I’ve never warmed to SotS. It always seemed like mindless combat and irritating and ill thought out tech trees.

      In Sins the main thing it lacks is much of a story. I’m on the fence about the diplomacy but the AI is now much better (far more balanced attack groups) and an infinitely scarier Pirate faction.

    • Nickiepoo says:

      Yeah, it’s funny, I normally love these games but was pretty underwealmed by SotS. Coming here and seeing it being praised so much makes me think that I just didn’t make enough effort to appreciate it.

  11. Robin says:

    The pirates got mega buffed. They are seriously terrifying by the the later stages of a game. They chew through caps and starbases in seconds and have ridiculous hit points and armour.

    I don’t like it as much as Entrenchment, but its nice to feel on level pegging with the AI, they can no longer bombard you with missions like “Give me free stuff”. You can actually request to have them do things for you. Good stuff overall.

  12. Miker says:

    This many posts in and nobody has mentioned the AWE-INSPIRING “faster” game speed. It really is a great switch to flick on if you don’t feel like waiting half an hour for your ships to cross a gravity well.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Faster for tech is nice too. This recent patch is pretty awesome overall. Too bad the diplomacy part still seems meh especially in comparison to GalCiv II.

  13. Chandrose says:

    @ Furniture Merchant

    I hear you. I wasn’t too keen on saddling up with a second DD service. I eventually caved and added Impulse to Steam. I figured with two of them I could nab more good deals, as well as getting games exclusive to both. Two is definitely my limit though, I don’t want games all over the place. Of course, you know Blizzard is going to piggy back one on one of their big titles soon enough. We’ll see :).

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      None of the other DD services I know of even have a client you have to use. Neither Gamersgate or Gog. com have them.

  14. bill says:

    For me the expansion that finishes off the SOASE experience would be the one that adds singleplayer. That’s what i’ve been holding out for…

  15. Khurn says:

    If you like turn based 4x games, the Real time space battles really does shine. Each race is unique and play differently. SOTS is a great game. Its very balanced and has great support from Kerberos. A great company that is very open with its customers.

    I been playing since Vanilla Sots and constantly play a few days a month. Each expansion is worth it and expands the game. The UI simplifies alot of the mind numbing Micromanagement seen in other games.

    Good news Sots2 was just announce but will have to till 2011.

  16. Petrushka says:

    Hi. I just wanted to come in here after the insanity of the YOU MANIACS! comments and post a nice comment about a nice company that doesn’t use fugly customer-bashing DRM. I know it’s off-topic, so I apologise for wasting your time and using up your electrons, but the feel-good factor is great. Really.

    So here we go: Ironclad Games, I love you. Happy belated Valentine’s Day. Mwa, mwa.

    It’s unfortunate that I happen to hate RTS games. But (a) the juxtaposition of the two stories is very apt, and (b) I’m feeling tempted to spend my money on SoaSE anyway — just to make a point.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      That’s okay. I bought Sins AND both expansions, and have played none of it. Did it to support the company not treating the customer like a thief.

  17. Kmandr says:

    When the original Sins was released, there was an option to buy a physical copy *and* digital version to download and play directly. Stardock’s ‘Impulse’ system only comes into play for download and updates, you don’t even have to run it to start the game.

  18. Frosty says:

    I got Sins a while back, sans expansion packs, but have yet to play it properly. I’m a solitary single player kind of person though, not a RTS multiplayer kind. So, I have a question.

    Which of the Sins expansions is worth the woolah? Or are they both recommended purchases?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Frosty

      I’d play the game a bit and see if you like it before investing in the expansions, frankly. As an SP player myself, I found it very repetitive (and more than a little shallow). Those are traits that neither of the current expansion packs adequately addresses, IMO. As best I can tell it’s just a very MP focused game, maybe depth is provided by human opponents.

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