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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greygamer View Post
    So I now have a considerable list of 4X/Grand Strategy titles to play:

    Crusader Kings II
    Europa Universalis IV
    Victoria II
    Eador: Masters of the Broken World
    Endless Space
    Fallen Enchantress & Legendary Heroes
    Space Empires IV
    Age of Wonders III
    Medieval II: Total War & Kingdoms
    Pride of Nations
    Sword of the Stars Complete (Progression Wars)
    Alpha Centauri
    Emperor of the Fading Suns

    I am thinking of going CK II - EU IV - Victoria II first.
    Are there any in this list that aren't worth the time?
    I have played most of the Civ (except IV) series and have played Warlock, MOO & MoM amongst others. However I tend to get sucked into playing one title for 100+ hours when it clicks with me. The above list are games I own but have either not played or only for a fews hours.

    It's probably been already pointed out, but Fallen Enchantress: Leg Heroes probably isn't worth playing. It passes the time alright, but it's just not all that fun. I wrote up a AAR if you're interested. The whole experience of the game is a bit flat and nothingy. I'll probably go back and try and enjoy the game again, but I don't hold out much hope.

    I found CivIV:Fall from Heaven 2 to be far fa far more interesting and evocative.

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by riadsala View Post
    It's probably been already pointed out, but Fallen Enchantress: Leg Heroes probably isn't worth playing. It passes the time alright, but it's just not all that fun. I wrote up a AAR if you're interested. The whole experience of the game is a bit flat and nothingy. I'll probably go back and try and enjoy the game again, but I don't hold out much hope.

    I found CivIV:Fall from Heaven 2 to be far fa far more interesting and evocative.
    Actually I think just the opposite FE:LH. Sure it has a lot of problems, especially empire building falls holllow and number crunching but I can play a three games right of the bat while with games like Endless Space, Age of Wonders III or Warlock 2, one game and I am bored for months.

  3. #203
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    Endless Space has this odd problem of having the best interface ever made in 4X and yet feeling strangely clinical and bland. By all accounts I should like the game and I'm a sucker for well-engineered games, but I can't even go through a full match before getting bored out.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    Endless Space has this odd problem of having the best interface ever made in 4X and yet feeling strangely clinical and bland. By all accounts I should like the game and I'm a sucker for well-engineered games, but I can't even go through a full match before getting bored out.
    Haha, had the same impression. A lot of pieces are there and yet... they missed some crucial artistic streak in there.

  5. #205
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    Interesting, see, I dont mind the blandness of Endless Space. But then again, I'm also playing a lot of Go these days, so I'm happy dealing with abstract games. I like that Endless Space has pretty clear mechanics and so it can be treated more like a board game. Which I find is a very different mentality from playing something that captures my imagination (like Fall from Heaven 2 or something).

    I think there's enough space in the 4x genre for multiple design philosophies. And for what it is, I think Endless Space is great. It achieves everything it sets out to do. I'd admit it's not for everybody, and there are more immersive 4x games out there. I just don't view it as competing directly with them

    Whereas Elemental:FallenEnchantrss:LegendaryHeroes is just a bit of a mess. Sure, the world is a bit more interesting, but the game is broken. It's quite easy to putter through without understanding the game rules and still win, without really knowing why. So unless you really like the art style or something, I see very little reason to play it over CivIV:FfH2.


    Maybe I should give Elemental:FallenEnchantrss:LegendaryHeroes another go?


    can anybody tell me: are there any good CivV mods yet? as so far, the scene seems to be really disappointing. There doesn't appear to be anything close to the good CivIV mods (FfH2, Legends of the Revolution and Planetfall [I'm probably missing some too!]

  6. #206
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    Endless Space seems to be unavoidable for me...

  7. #207
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    It took me about 9 hours (plus time spent watch video on Youtube) to get into CK II. A lot more enjoyable after I figured things out. However it does start out quite slowly as an Irish count/earl and random events early on can make or break your game.

    I would say that a lot of the videos on Youtube don't really help in learning how to play as the UI can be rather confusing at times and Arumba for example makes extensive use of keyboard shortcuts which make it difficult to see how he plays. Also there have been a number of changes since the game launched (e.g. you now need 51% of the counties in a Duchy to create the title) which makes most of the tutorial videos of limited use.

    As a result I had to keep re-starting my Earl of Dublin while adding in new elements before I could make any real progress. I am of course still learning but you have to question if 10+ hours of play to learn the fundamental mechanics of a game is good design.

    I have read the tutorials in EU IV are a lot better, I hope that is the case.
    Last edited by Greygamer; 04-07-2014 at 07:33 AM.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greygamer View Post
    A lot more enjoyable after I figured things out..
    One of the things I found interesting about CKII, from a design perspective, was how things also were a lot more enjoyable before I figured everything out. Which, admittedly, didn't happen until more than 50 hours into the game.

    The general consensus from video game players is that a game should reveal its mechanics to the player as transparently as possible, but my experience suggests that the game we're imagining we're playing can be a much better game than the one we're playing. Which is a wonderful thing. See also Dwarf Fortress.

    There are limits to that, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by KylRoy View Post
    Endless Space seems to be unavoidable for me...
    I just started playing Endless Space-- like ten minutes ago. I feel as if I want to talk about it already, based on what I've read here, but it is of course too soon.

    It's the first time I've felt so helplessly awash in a unfamiliar system since the first time I played CKII.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    One of the things I found interesting about CKII, from a design perspective, was how things also were a lot more enjoyable before I figured everything out. Which, admittedly, didn't happen until more than 50 hours into the game..
    You could be correct as I am a long way from figuring everything out, but at least I am now using plots and marriages to my advantage. And ambitions are how you increase poor stats? It is still rather annoying that a chancellor with a 14% of fabricating a claim is unable to produce one after 10+ years though

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    The general consensus from video game players is that a game should reveal its mechanics to the player as transparently as possible, but my experience suggests that the game we're imagining we're playing can be a much better game than the one we're playing. Which is a wonderful thing. See also Dwarf Fortress.
    .
    That is often the case with video games unfortunately, once the mechanics are mastered then they can simply become puzzles to be solved

  10. #210
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    If you do a search on this here forum, there's a thread/link somewhere with a really good fan made CK2 manual. I suggest reading that!

  11. #211
    Activated Node Greygamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riadsala View Post
    If you do a search on this here forum, there's a thread/link somewhere with a really good fan made CK2 manual. I suggest reading that!
    Thank you for suggesting this, I will certainly take a look at it

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greygamer View Post
    Thank you for suggesting this, I will certainly take a look at it
    yeah, that's the one. If found that it was a great help.

    one thing I've been doing with Ck2 is only introducing the DLC gradually. My rule is that I must play at least one "successful" game for each DLC I buy. As each game takes a long long time, it means I'm not progressing very quickly! I played vanilla games is poland and ireland to learn the basics. I then spent a while trying to work out how to make a go of starting out holding some islamic regions in the south of spain with the Sword of Islam DLC. I'll probably try another islamic game, starting in the middle east, before I move on to Legacy of Rome and the Byzantium. :)

  13. #213
    Activated Node Greygamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riadsala View Post
    yeah, that's the one. If found that it was a great help.

    one thing I've been doing with Ck2 is only introducing the DLC gradually. My rule is that I must play at least one "successful" game for each DLC I buy. As each game takes a long long time, it means I'm not progressing very quickly! I played vanilla games is poland and ireland to learn the basics. I then spent a while trying to work out how to make a go of starting out holding some islamic regions in the south of spain with the Sword of Islam DLC. I'll probably try another islamic game, starting in the middle east, before I move on to Legacy of Rome and the Byzantium. :)
    It is nicely laid out, not too much information for a new player. I keep forgetting about the 'intrigue' button. Each attempt I am getting a little further as well. I bought the first 3 DLC in the sale but am playing the vanilla version while learning. Adding the DLC gradually seems a very good idea.

    How many hours does a campaign normally take you?

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greygamer View Post
    It is nicely laid out, not too much information for a new player. I keep forgetting about the 'intrigue' button. Each attempt I am getting a little further as well. I bought the first 3 DLC in the sale but am playing the vanilla version while learning. Adding the DLC gradually seems a very good idea.

    How many hours does a campaign normally take you?
    ages and ages... but part of that is that I always play on ironman and the game insists on saving to the cloud every month. It really slows down the game. [I believe this has been fixed in a recent patch.] Steam says 56 hours in total, and I guess that's over 3 or 4 games, plus a good number of false starts.

    I was tempted to pick up the LoR DLC in the last sale, but figure that I should play as an islamic ruler again. I ended up stuck with a single region and part of a really strong Caliphate in my last game, meaning that I couldn't really do anything at all.

  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    One of the things I found interesting about CKII, from a design perspective, was how things also were a lot more enjoyable before I figured everything out. Which, admittedly, didn't happen until more than 50 hours into the game.
    To me that sounds more like once you've figured everything out, you've started to notice the cracks at the seams. This is especially true for simulations, where the systems are invariably simplifications which can be exploited once you get familiar enough with them. I've not played CKII (tried the tutorials but can't muster the desire to finish them and get started with a game), but the new SimCity is like that: the first few hours feel great, the game's beautiful and the systems work. Then as you go further you realize that some pieces fall apart if you push them this way, and that some systems don't actually need what they claim to need, etc. The suspension of disbelief just disintegrates at that point.

  16. #216
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    Finished my first game: Endless Space seems like a low budget Galactic Civilizations clone. Which is okay: GalCiv was a good game, and there haven't been enough clones of it, and sometimes you want something a little less silly (if Endless Space is cartoonish, it's still the Batman to GalCiv's Loony Tunes).

    The problem with a lot of these games is that all of these icons and numbers are mostly just obfuscation of a few key mechanisms, the biggest being a war/peace investment slider*. Technologies remind me of the ennui that eventually accompanies acquiring a new MMO magical sword: oh, the Sword of the King is just a sword that grants +3 strength. When technologies could be, should be, revolutionary.

    It's strange-- but Endless Space makes me think of the roguelike ToME. Because ToME escaped the glut of +1 swords with its artifacts-- and it's not so hard to do, it just takes the decision to do it, a willingness to risk some imagined balance, and the work of coding individual effects.

    But also, because Endless Space is the kind of game that would benefit a lot from ToME's modding framework. If its fans could be recruited to create flavorful events, planets, civilizations, etc, I think that Endless Space could become a much more varied and interesting game.

    *This investment slider is already a spectacularly difficult idea to implement without breaking things, and it doesn't even do anything interesting. Either rushing wins, or else the goal is to invest only slightly more in peace than one's neighbor. It turns into a game very similar to second-best-hand-wins poker, which is a terrible, terrible game (try playing it sometime).

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Either rushing wins, or else the goal is to invest only slightly more in peace than one's neighbor. It turns into a game very similar to second-best-hand-wins poker, which is a terrible, terrible game (try playing it sometime).
    most strategy games follow the exactly same rock-paper-scissors balance scheme:

    rushing beats ignoring military and growing
    defending beats rushing
    ignoring military and growing beats defending

    it may be boring, but it's the only way to have counterplay
    the games without counterplay aren't really strategy games. they're optimization games

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    it may be boring, but it's the only way to have counterplay
    the games without counterplay aren't really strategy games. they're optimization games
    I'm not sure what you mean by counterplay?

    Many 4x/strategy games lack the "defending" option, using the same units to defend and attack-- are these games necessarily broken? As far as I can see so far, Endless Space lacks defensive options.

    I've always been fond of the way games like Solium Infernum use causus belli to prevent rushes.

    CK + EU avoid most rock/paper/scissors gameplay, and are partially optimization games, but manage to be very fun due to the extent to which they are also roleplaying games (in the original sense of playing a role, not in the modern sense of collecting gold and xp). Ends are heavily determined by starts, but nobody seems to mind.

    I wonder about this stuff, not because I don't enjoy video games, but because I'm trying to figure out other ways of approaching the creation of games. I'm certain that there are still new mechanics to explore.

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by counterplay?

    Many 4x/strategy games lack the "defending" option, using the same units to defend and attack-- are these games necessarily broken? As far as I can see so far, Endless Space lacks defensive options.
    every tactic (or strategy) needs to be beatable (countered) by a tactic of equal or lesser cost
    if that doesn't happen, then the game doesn't have counterplay

    "defending" usually just means making stronger units than what the attacker is sending at you
    in 4X games that usually means making advanced units after investing in technology/economy a bit instead of making military from turn 1

    CK + EU avoid most rock/paper/scissors gameplay, and are partially optimization games, but manage to be very fun due to the extent to which they are also roleplaying games (in the original sense of playing a role, not in the modern sense of collecting gold and xp). Ends are heavily determined by starts, but nobody seems to mind.
    those games are terrible if you approach them as strategy games.
    there are no win conditions. there is no balance.

    and that's fine because they aren't even 4X games.

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    every tactic (or strategy) needs to be beatable (countered) by a tactic of equal or lesser cost
    if that doesn't happen, then the game doesn't have counterplay

    "defending" usually just means making stronger units than what the attacker is sending at you
    in 4X games that usually means making advanced units after investing in technology/economy a bit instead of making military from turn 1
    What about Go? Surely a strategy game.

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