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lunarplasma
01-11-2011, 10:35 AM
The recent release of SotS2 has been making me think of what the ideal 4X game for me would be. Looking at the current crop of what's out there, we have:

Galactic Civilizations II: The last expansion really went to town in differentiating how the different races play. About the only thing I disliked about it is that planet management could be quite micro-intensive, and could get tedious in larger games. This is a proper 4X game.

Sword of the Stars: I didn't pick this game up until only recently, and I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised. I really love the way that your research tree is semi-randomised each game, and how each race actually plays quite differently from each other. The only thing I dislike is the tactical combat, because this feels more like an RTS than a 4X.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Replayability I think is good, because the three races are varied enough and strategies you employ are different enough that successive games feel different from each other. Personally though, this is my least favorite of the three I've listed because of the fact that it's more of a space RTS than a 4X.

My ideal 4X game would then marry concepts from different games:
Planetary Management: SotS
Research: SotS
Ship Design: SotS/GalCiv2
Tactical Combat: MoO 2!
Starmap: SotS

SotS sounds like a really good game already, from my perspective. The only real bugbear for me is the ship combat, for which I really markedly prefer the turn-based combat of MoO and MoO2. GalCiv's system of combat is okay, but I prefer to have some hand in how combat plays out.

So what about you guys? Am I just a relic who dislikes the whole real-time section that seems to be coming into 4X games?

Rossignol
01-11-2011, 10:50 AM
Sins is definitely a space RTS. I would like to see another approach to what GalCiv did, with more options for diplomacy and more macro management.

Vexing Vision
01-11-2011, 11:03 AM
What I dislike about most 4x games is the empire-aspect.

I'd love to see a crossover between Star Wolves, DynaTech (how's that for some old-school reference) and Emperor of the Fading Suns - instead of playing an empire where each planet can be "occupied" by only one faction, each planet would be able to host several factions, with some factions able to originate from the same home system.

With squad-based combat like Star Wolves. Mmhmmm.

Heliocentric
01-11-2011, 11:53 AM
My favourite 4x would perfectly function without opponents, you'd need to deal with energy crisis, politics, terrorists, natural disasters social upheavals caused the march of science and economics... Then optionally other empires would exist too, facing the same issues. Less of this "an empire rules itself autonomously*.

lunarplasma
01-11-2011, 12:04 PM
My favourite 4x would perfectly function without opponents, you'd need to deal with energy crisis, politics, terrorists, natural disasters social upheavals caused the march of science and economics... Then optionally other empires would exist too, facing the same issues. Less of this "an empire rules itself autonomously*.

That sounds vaguely like "Fate of the World... in SPACE!"

archonsod
01-11-2011, 01:52 PM
Main reason I disliked GalCiv (and MoO come to that) is they went down the spreadsheet route of Civlike games; i.e. everything is just playing with numbers. Reason I love SotS is that they avoided that route for the most part. In SotS the Hivers and Sol Force play almost entirely different games thanks to their unique drive systems. In GalCiv, the difference between the Drengin and the Yor is a bunch of + or - numbers. Admittedly Stardock tried to fix it somewhat in their last expansion, but I think it's too central to the core of the game to really shift from.

I suspect my ideal 4X game would actually be a blend of space adventure (Frontier, X) and traditional empire builder. Kind of like if the X series widened it's economic focus to take in governance, colonisation and the like. While still letting you sail around in your pimped up Star Destroyer to admire your handiwork / crush rebels.

Giaddon
01-11-2011, 01:58 PM
I dislike the grafting of the Civilization model into space (like Galactic Civilizations) space is big and crazy, and it just doesn't make sense.

Heliocentric has the right idea, insomuch as it attempts to make the game engaging without war, which is a crutch I think 4Xs rely on entirely too much.

My ideal of a space 4X would actually look a lot more like an RPG. Let me explain!

You play a politician (a SPACE politician!). You live in a kind of government pavilion (probably a space station), where you can access information about your civilization, argue policy with other politicians, and attempt to guide your civilization. Think... Silent Hunter 3. Where you can quickly switch to the relevant screens if interested, or you can walk through your submarine and talk to the men who man the different stations. So you could press a button and instantly look at the galactic map, click stuff to get data about it, or you could walk to the map room.

The civilization would be mostly driven by the AI, with the player able to influence the variables of that AI. If you think military spending is too high, make a policy capping it, or make a speech against war, or something.

There would have to be a system to allow the player to make some quick actions, something like "clout points," which you could spend to just do something (worried that this area is undefended? Spend some clout to send a fleet there)

Imagine starting your turn and the news of the galaxy is given to you in a kind of newspaper format (unrest here, tensions high on this border, new research breakthrough). You also get an urgent report that a group of separatist terrorists is threatened to nuke the capital of their world if you don't meet with their demands. You go to the government meeting for the incident, and several options are proposed (ignore them, give them what they want, send in troops, talk to them, etc). You argue for one (stat check!) and then move on to other things. End of turn, that political cycle concludes, and the next turn you can see the results.

Basically, a mash up of Crusader Kings, Solerium Infernum, Victoria 2 and... SPACE

(I know this will never happen)

Heliocentric
01-11-2011, 02:00 PM
That sounds vaguely like "Fate of the World... in SPACE!"

'Fate of space' surely?

Giaddon
01-11-2011, 02:03 PM
Fate of the Galaxy

pakoito
01-11-2011, 02:27 PM
AURORA

Looks quite deep and steep, a dwarf fortish approach to spacesim.

aurorawiki.pentarch.org (?)

lunarplasma
01-11-2011, 02:39 PM
There definitely is something to be said for a 4X game that is able to provide enjoyment for the player who engages in diplomacy and tries very hard to maintain peace - and even 'win' the game doing so. GalCiv 2 provided a means of conquering enemy planets through overwhelming them with your own culture, and it was possible to bribe/cajole/threaten the other races to not go to war with you, but I think war is still inevitable in most cases.

Sins also let you conquer planets via culture I think, but that's an RTS so it doesn't really count. :D

Peter Radiator Full Pig
01-11-2011, 06:30 PM
My ideal 4x would have the depth of dwarf fortress, and AI that would routinly beat me without any advantages.
In fact, I think id play a game to death if it had that last part.

As for the mechanics in it, Id want ship building, and very, vastly different races.
Dplomacy should be hard between species. They can just be so different, you need espionage to find out what makes each race tick. It would have to be randomized each time, yet still make sense....

I see now that this game probably wont exist in y lifetime. Ah well.

I like the idea of fate of the world style disasters, but i wouldnt want that to be the whole day, or else its not really a 4x game anymore.

Spider Jerusalem
01-11-2011, 06:43 PM
everything: moo2

pakoito
01-11-2011, 07:02 PM
My ideal 4x would have the depth of dwarf fortress, and AI that would routinly beat me without any advantages.
In fact, I think id play a game to death if it had that last part.

As for the mechanics in it, Id want ship building, and very, vastly different races.
Dplomacy should be hard between species. They can just be so different, you need espionage to find out what makes each race tick. It would have to be randomized each time, yet still make sense....

I see now that this game probably wont exist in y lifetime. Ah well.

I like the idea of fate of the world style disasters, but i wouldnt want that to be the whole day, or else its not really a 4x game anymore.
I just pointed you to said game two post ago, men. I've heard wonders of it but I can't play on my crapbook: http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/

lunarplasma
02-11-2011, 08:28 AM
One of the few things I disliked about MoO2 was the planetary management. I absolutely hated having to micromanage exactly what buildings I'd be making on my planets. No way sir - planetary sliders is the way to go for me! I preferred it the way it was in MoO prime.

The way it is in SotS is pretty good too. I like how you can't just colonize willy-nilly, because poorer colonies will actually hurt your empire rather than just taking a lot longer to develop.

Tikey
02-11-2011, 12:53 PM
I'd like a game where bigger isn't necessarily better. A well managed small empire should stand a chance against a bigger one. Colonization race is somewhat annoying.
I like what sots2 is trying to do with the fleets thingy, meaning you can't just have hundreds of fleets going around. It's more about logistics rather than quantity. I'm eager to see what's going to become of sots2 when it's finished (or at least playable)

lunarplasma
02-11-2011, 02:39 PM
Yeah, fleets makes sense. Really, the way exploration and scouting is done should be with a button like 'send explorer here' and voila, you've got an abstract scout/probe on its way. Colonization should be done the same way.

Tikey
02-11-2011, 02:46 PM
Yeah, there is a lot to improve really (and I'm confident that Kerberos will get to it). But the core idea is very interesting.

jezcentral
02-11-2011, 05:04 PM
MOO2 is all I need. (Although now maybe my i7 PC can handle the buggy atrocity that is MOO3. Some turns took 1 hour to calculate when I last played it. :( )

Hensler
03-11-2011, 12:37 AM
I'd like to see Battlestations: Midway... In Space! Or at the very least, let me fly a fighter Wing Commander style in a game like Sword of the Stars.

anpd
03-11-2011, 07:47 AM
Moo2 and Alpha Centauri even if that is a bit different.

lunarplasma
03-11-2011, 01:50 PM
I'd like to see Battlestations: Midway... In Space! Or at the very least, let me fly a fighter Wing Commander style in a game like Sword of the Stars.

Didn't Wing Commander: Armada sort of do this? You had a fleet management/planetary development aspect, and a space sim bit.

riadsala
03-11-2011, 02:12 PM
I have a general dislike of Tactical battles. They can really bog a game down. And I don't like the artificial cut between scales.

A model like Sins is nice... you can go down to a tactical scale, but you don't need to micro it, and it doesn't interrupt the flow of the large scale game.

Hensler
03-11-2011, 04:10 PM
Didn't Wing Commander: Armada sort of do this? You had a fleet management/planetary development aspect, and a space sim bit.

That may be the only Wing Commander game I haven't played - in fact, I've never heard of it. Sounds awesome, though.

Moraven
04-11-2011, 07:44 AM
Didn't Wing Commander: Armada sort of do this? You had a fleet management/planetary development aspect, and a space sim bit.

Yes, yes, oh man. Armada was a turn based space strategy until you went into battles, where you flew one of your fighters, turning it into a Wing Commander mini mission of sorts. So much fun. Had like on our old IBM. Not sure who has the disc anymore. We had the Privateer/Armada CD. Wish it was released on gog.com with Privateer.