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  1. #261
    Thinking of buying Endless Legends, was 1st on Steam for a while there, now has fallen down, but reviews and forums are more than decent, and I like Endless Space and SPG2 from Iceberg publisher quite a lot, so anyone here recommends me to grab a purchase any time soon?

  2. #262
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    Would OpenXcom (or even orginal X-com) count as tbs? It sort of feels like it is, if i make a comparison with the vibe it gives me, it's more Civ than rts etc? Anyway, 1.0 is released and is very awesome, i've even had some fun 'hot-seating' it (you split the soldiers 50/50 for control in the tactical section) recently, so wanted to give it a recommendation in this thread.

  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    Thinking of buying Endless Legends, was 1st on Steam for a while there, now has fallen down, but reviews and forums are more than decent, and I like Endless Space and SPG2 from Iceberg publisher quite a lot, so anyone here recommends me to grab a purchase any time soon?
    Endless Legend has just hit beta stage. They are missing some factions and the end game. Diplomacy is ropey and combat is going through some changes. Its very good at the moment and is very playable BUT its not finished. They hope to finish it in the next few months so it will be out this year hopefully.

    If you don't mind an unfinished 4x game, go for it, it is a lot of fun to play. If you are one of those that like to finish 4x games, wait.

  4. #264
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    Was just playing some Warlock (the first one). Good game, middling art-- game only ruined by poor diplomacy AI. So long as you're the top dog (easy with expansionist strategy), the AI will accept non-aggression pacts, which it will later terminate, but it won't declare war until you've had at least one turn to reinstate the pact-- so you can play a peaceful economic expansionist, without any risk.

    This is following me playing Endless Space into oblivion, which was similarly ruined by unaggressive AI and crappy diplomacy AI. The AI values money as a percentage of its total current value, overvalues trade goods, and undervalues income-- so you can lease trade good access for a per-turn cost larger than their income (often getting them to throw in some tech), then turn around and get access to their trade good for bargain basement prices, now that their valuation is distorted by their drastic change in income. Next turn, they lose access to your goods because they can't pay, so repeat at will. Combine this with unaggressive, honorable AI, and winning a scientific victory on the hardest setting was a cinch.

    But that got me to wondering about other SP strategy games. What is the best diplomacy AI you've ever seen?
    Last edited by nate; 15-07-2014 at 08:58 PM.

  5. #265
    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    But that got me to wondering about other SP strategy games. What is the best diplomacy AI you've ever seen?
    I don't think I've ever met a diplomacy AI that hasn't at times frustrated me with its inane decision making. It helps when AI leaders have customizable or random personalities. If they are being silly then at least you know it's your own fault because you set them to be mindlessly aggressive or passively honourable or whatever.

    The Civ V diplomacy AI was somewhat amusing in that it would sometimes try to flatter you and offer great deals to lull you into false security as it was preparing to attack. Caught me off guard the first time that happened. GalCiv AI looked like it sometimes pulled advanced tricks as well but it was hard for me to tell if it was just circumstance or actually a mastermind AI.

    The best strategy AIs in both diplomacy and tactics are in those games where the options are limited. Its the KISS principle. The less they have to deal with the less they will muck up.
    Last edited by crazy horse; 15-07-2014 at 09:44 PM.

  6. #266
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    This is one of the reasons why AI War is such a good game.

  7. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by riadsala View Post
    This is one of the reasons why AI War is such a good game.
    It is entirely different, though. The AI is aggressive, but essentially reactive. Still awesome game, just something else.

  8. #268
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Asymmetry in strategy titles solves a lot of problems, it's irritating that it's used so rarely even now.
    Last edited by vinraith; 17-07-2014 at 04:18 AM.

  9. #269
    Lesser Hivemind Node DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Asymmetry in strategy titles solves a lot of problems, it's irritating that it's used to rarely even now.
    People don't like doing things that are hard.

  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    It is entirely different, though. The AI is aggressive, but essentially reactive. Still awesome game, just something else.
    That was my point. The game is designed from the floor up with KISS in mind for the AI. As vinraith says, the asymmetry solves a lot of problems

  11. #271
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    I was just thinking about something weird about Paradox strategy games.

    Most strategy games provide the player with a sense of growth-- you are start out with two simple units, but by the end of the game, you're running around with multiple full armies, full of different units with different countdown abilities, etc.

    This has some important implications. For instance, endgame battles are devastating, and it's not often possible to recover from a large loss. Players end up playing much more tightly in the early game than in the later game. The endgame complexity contributes to endgame fatigue. And the endgame pace suffers.

    Paradox games aren't like that at all. In fact, they're mostly exactly the same at the beginning of the game as at the end of the game. You might have a few more points in religious tolerance in CK; more of the Pacific is colonized in EU. There are a few times when a large domain leads to an increase in complexity-- multiple kingdoms with different succession laws, or trying to deal with the multiple rebellions that come with a large empire.

    This is part of why Paradox games have a steep difficulty curve, because they don't really warm you up. They also avoid the traditional pitfalls of strategy games. And they have a completely different emotional feel because of this as well: the player doesn't rise from the rabble to dominate the world, and instead, any growth feels temporary and cyclical.

    I've been thinking about whether I know of any strategy games that reverse the typical dynamic, offering the most complexity early in a game, and gradually ramping it down. Such a game might have the player begin with most of his or her pieces, which are then irreplaceably whittled down. Such a design might also be more respectful regarding the wars that video games so frequently model by finally representing them as destructive rather than constructive.

  12. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    I've been thinking about whether I know of any strategy games that reverse the typical dynamic, offering the most complexity early in a game, and gradually ramping it down. Such a game might have the player begin with most of his or her pieces, which are then irreplaceably whittled down. Such a design might also be more respectful regarding the wars that video games so frequently model by finally representing them as destructive rather than constructive.
    Like chess then?

    In a 4x type game, it would be hard to do... you'd couldn't have conflict a zero-sum game, as then one side wins what the other loses, and eventually just steamrolls the world. So you need a conflict model in which both sides lose in every combat. but the, why would a player fight?

    Are there meaningful parallels [I'm sure there are]? The World Wars were truly terrible, but it could be argued that they had a beneficial effect on science (there's a reasonably linear story from the V2 rockets to the moon landings). The Romans used conflict to build a huge empire. The monguls did likewise and gained an even larger one.

    Games like Wargame:ALB sort of have this dynamic as battle groups wear each other down. But it's on a pretty small scale.

  13. #273
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    Asymmetry in strategy titles solves a lot of problems, it's irritating that it's used so rarely even now.
    It's also 2 games, 2 separate and often irreconcilable experiences. I still want a corporate espionage game that's one half Monaco and one half theme hospital/prison architect.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  14. #274
    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    It's also 2 games, 2 separate and often irreconcilable experiences. I still want a corporate espionage game that's one half Monaco and one half theme hospital/prison architect.
    You have summoned up the memory of the abomination known as Space Rangers 2. It is a ludicrous mishmash of different genres from open-world space piracy and trading to arcade shooter and a dash of RTS robot combat along with some horribly translated text adventure bits from the original Russian. It was also quite glorious even though that Craig Pearson called it 'ridiculous'.

    To quote an commenter on an RPS article: One of my favourite “bad” games. There’s so many things that could be done so much better and some are outright annoying and yet it still somehow works as a whole. It’s like stitching a bunch of corpses together and the resulting mass of horribleness being able to run a marathon adequately.

  15. #275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    It's also 2 games, 2 separate and often irreconcilable experiences. I still want a corporate espionage game that's one half Monaco and one half theme hospital/prison architect.
    I don't think that's the sort of asymmetry that vinraith is talking about. In AI War the AI operates under a very different set of rules than the players, outside of immediate combat. But you never get to play as the AI, and such a thing wouldn't even make a lot of sense. It's a solution to getting the AI to play in a way that provides an interesting challenge to the player, which is one of the core problems with strategy games.

    It's not that you make two games, it's that you let the player play one game while the AI operates the environment you play in.

  16. #276
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    Quote Originally Posted by riadsala View Post
    Like chess then?
    Well, yeah-- like chess. (Although chess doesn't feel quite like that-- the complexity is really mid-game, but part of that is because the early game is pretty well explored.)

    I think that 4Xs already have the steamroller problem, and mostly these games solve that problem by having third parties. You know, a > b > c, but a < b+c kind of thing.

    The question, then, of why to fight? It'd be pretty cool if fighting wasn't necessary. But I see fighting as something parties do either to hurt another party, or else are forced into. The ol' diplomatic option of "Give me 300 credits or we'll get locked in war" might actually be interesting if war was something you wanted to avoid.

  17. #277
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    In Civ 2 if you fight too many nuclear wars the resources each side has to deal with becomes very limited. The stuff they have available to build is the same though. But it'll be harder to field big armies like you can before everything goes wrong.

    I expect there won't be very many games of this type because a) people like progression and dislike regression; and b) increasing complexity later on is a sensible way to help people learn the game.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I expect there won't be very many games of this type because a) people like progression and dislike regression; and b) increasing complexity later on is a sensible way to help people learn the game.

    I would rephrase it as, designers have failed to find out a way to make regression interesting. Or perhaps more accurately, have decided to not even try. See Civ V and the way that all negative bonuses have been removed, etc.

  19. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    In Civ 2 if you fight too many nuclear wars the resources each side has to deal with becomes very limited.
    I was remembering a story on the main site-- I think it was by you? Something about a game you played with your dad where you ended up creating a nuclear no-man's land of devastation that made aggression unthinkable?

  20. #280
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Civ 4 Col is a much better game which sadly lacks viable PBEM options. You have the powerkeg of your rivals, natives and your lieges at home.

    An ultrastack cant win on all the fronts its needed on.
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