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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Endless Space or Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellions?

    So I have a space strategy itch, and there are two interesting space strategy games on sale at the moment. But I can't decide which one to throw all my monies at. I'm probably more inclined toward the turn-based type, but RTS can do it for me too. So does anyone have some insight on the strengths and weaknesses of Endless Space and Sins of a Solar Empire: Annoyingly Long Title, and how they compare when it comes to quality and gameplay?

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Endless Space has a sexy UI. The game might be a tiny bit boring, but that UI is seriously good. Some people dislike the battles: you basically just watch two fleets fly towards each other and shoot guns, and select from a set of tactics "cards" that are played every now and then, but I personally liked it. I'm a great Galactic Emperor, I don't have the time to give attack orders to every insignificant frigate!

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velko View Post
    I'm a great Galactic Emperor, I don't have the time to give attack orders to every insignificant frigate!
    I for one welcome our new imperial overlord.

    Meh, I can live without the hands-on spaceship tactics. I mean, I liked the battles in MOO2, but they weren't the main draw for me.

    And a good UI is so damn important in turn-based 4X games, so I'm glad to hear Endless Space has that covered.

  4. #4
    Network Hub rsherhod's Avatar
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    I agree with Velko. Endless Space is a game I'm happy to dip into every now and then a play a few games. It looks lovely and has enough bits and bobs to explore to remain interesting. Also it's worth noting that it's now in a complete state with no more free updates, but the expansion should be out fairly soon which will add depth to space battles and planetary conquest.

    As for Sins, I more or less bounced off it. It's the sort of game that, to my mind, needs a single-player campaign to keep me interested. It doesn't have to be story-driven, but I want a greater sense of progression than a series of skirmishes can provide.

    Just to muddy the waters: have you every tries Star Ruler?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Sins is a pretty good space RTS game, but the AI is dumb as a post and can't compete despite rampant cheating. I've not played Endless Space, so can't comment. For my money, the two best games of this sort out there right now are still AI War and Sword of the Stars 1 for real time and turn based, respectively. I really need to give some time to Distant Worlds, as well, especially with the new expansion.
    Last edited by vinraith; 23-05-2013 at 07:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. I think I'm going to get Endless Space now. If I wasn't already.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsherhod View Post
    Just to muddy the waters: have you every tries Star Ruler?
    Nope. More of an indie thing, looks like. I could always check it out later, if ES turns out to be too shallow or something. It's actually been a long time since I played any space stuff. EVE Online (totally different type of game, but still lots of space!) and GalCiv are probably the last ones I really got into.

  7. #7
    Network Hub rsherhod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    EVE Online (totally different type of game, but still lots of space!)
    Continuing on that tangent: I've always wanted a single-player equivalent of EVE. Anyone tried the Alpha of Kinetic Void?

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsherhod View Post
    Continuing on that tangent: I've always wanted a single-player equivalent of EVE. Anyone tried the Alpha of Kinetic Void?
    Haven't tried, but I'm keeping an eye on it as it looks mightily interesting. It's a sad thing that the space-flying genre has been so quiet for the last years, so I'm glad there's some fresh blood around, but damn they should finish one of the games already!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rsherhod View Post
    Continuing on that tangent: I've always wanted a single-player equivalent of EVE.
    X3 is very similar to what I imagine a single player EVE game being like. Note I mean similarities both in a good way (incredible depth especially in economic terms, often immersive enough to make you think you're actually in space, nice graphics.) but also in a less good way (huge learning curve, a UI that is often difficult to navigate especially if you aren't used to it, takes forever to actually get a lot of stuff done.)

    You obviously aren't going to get the PVP drama that EVE offers (both in combat and economic competition) but I find X3 to be a nice game, especially if "single-player EVE" is what you're looking for.
    Last edited by iridescence; 24-05-2013 at 06:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    I got nowhere with X3. With that amount of information and stuff to do combined with the free-form sandbox structure, you really really need a good UI. The X3 UI is like the opposite of Endless Space: convoluted menus-within-menus with poor controls and lots of hidden information.

  11. #11
    Network Hub rsherhod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    X3 is very similar to what I imagine a single player EVE game being like.
    I've heard that before, so I gave it a shot ages ago and got nowhere. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I think I'm right that EVE is more of a RPG, but X3 is definitely a simulation. I'll certainly be giving the new X game a go when it comes out, since the devs. are going for greater accessibility, but X3 is just too complex and would require a lot more time than I can give it.

  12. #12
    Network Hub rsherhod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Nope. More of an indie thing, looks like. I could always check it out later, if ES turns out to be too shallow or something.
    The ship designing is good, particularly since you can build ships of planet (and I think star) destroying size. It seems to be totally combat focused though.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velko View Post
    I got nowhere with X3. With that amount of information and stuff to do combined with the free-form sandbox structure, you really really need a good UI. The X3 UI is like the opposite of Endless Space: convoluted menus-within-menus with poor controls and lots of hidden information.
    The X3 UI's heritage lies in the first X game, where everything was controlled by keyboard numbers and the mouse was useless. Since then Egosoft have added mouse support but never got rid of the nested menu mess which makes the game almost unplayable. The simplest operations are overly complex because they never properly implemented a mouse-driven GUI in a game that needs it.


    On topic - Endless Space is an okay game with one of the best UIs around, but it's inevitably a conquest game. While there are other victory options attempting to follow anything other than expansion and warfare will usually lead to loss. Diplomacy is over-simplified and almost useless, you'll usually end up going to war anyway. The fleet battles are a little simple but I agree with the people who suggest that the focus isn't on micromanagement. It's for that reason that I don't like Sword of the Stars - the combat is a micromanagement mess IMO, and the empire part is very shallow. The biggest problem with Endless Space is repetition though, especially since you're pushed into expansion, meaning much of your time is spent upgrading weapons on ships and amassing them into fleets.

    SoSE is an RTS game, it only barely qualifies as a 4X in my book. The focus is always on RTS combat with quite a bit of micro for capital ships. You have to play it like an RTS, not like a 4X. Pretty much anything you research or do goes into dominating the opposition, mostly through conquest with influence coming next. By far the biggest emphasis is on combat though. If you're after a combat-focused game then SoSE might be it, but it's not really a 4x.

    TL;DR:
    Endless Space - Proper 4X with a major focus on expansion and warfare
    SoSE - RTS that pretends to be 4X with a major focus on warfare
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  14. #14
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    Don't forget about definite 4x game which is Distant Worlds. It's real time but in the same way as Paradox games (flexible and pausable). Much better than ES and SoSE in my opinion. It isn't cheap though.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    SotS, progression wars scenario.

    Shall I extrapolate? Picture a roguelike space emperor game. Not space zoning committee, or space mayor.

    You have a wormhole opening up in a set place and time, you must leave through it, you can only take so much. Whether a few large ships or a greater number of small ones. Whether colonisation ships, mining ships, construction, trade or one of a hundred flavours of warship.

    When you arrive you don't know what to expect, desperate scrabbles over harsh world's, rich but inhospitable world's ready for mining or lush trade world's with empires to diplomatise with.

    And it really is diplomacy, you don't need to defeat the others, merely best prepare for your next trip
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  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    SotS, progression wars scenario.

    Shall I extrapolate? Picture a roguelike space emperor game. Not space zoning committee, or space mayor.

    You have a wormhole opening up in a set place and time, you must leave through it, you can only take so much. Whether a few large ships or a greater number of small ones. Whether colonisation ships, mining ships, construction, trade or one of a hundred flavours of warship.

    When you arrive you don't know what to expect, desperate scrabbles over harsh world's, rich but inhospitable world's ready for mining or lush trade world's with empires to diplomatise with.

    And it really is diplomacy, you don't need to defeat the others, merely best prepare for your next trip
    I'd like Progression Wars more if the round times were a little longer (or variable, I don't really understand why I can't have a slide bar for this). I understand that it's about not getting comfortable but hell, hiver players don't even see most of the new galaxy before getting whisked off to the next one.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by rsherhod View Post
    I've heard that before, so I gave it a shot ages ago and got nowhere. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I think I'm right that EVE is more of a RPG, but X3 is definitely a simulation. I'll certainly be giving the new X game a go when it comes out, since the devs. are going for greater accessibility, but X3 is just too complex and would require a lot more time than I can give it.
    One of the biggest problems with X3 is that the tutorial is just awful. It really is almost as much of an "RPG" as EVE in the sense that there are many different "professions" you can do but whereas the EVE school missions do a decent job of showing you at least some of what the game has to offer, X3 just basically plucks you down in the middle of a sector, shows you a bit about how to move around and then says "All right, go find stuff to do." Even a sandbox game needs some direction for new players. I really hope Egosoft improves the tutorial in the next game, as it stands now you really need to consult online guides to not be completely lost at the beginning.

    On the original topic, when I tried Endless Space, it seemed competently made and slick but just didn't "click" with me for some reason. I've watched a few playthroughs of Distant Worlds and that looks like a totally brilliant 4X space game. Unfortunately the price for the full game is just ridiculous (over $80 last I checked and should go past $100 with the latest expansion.) I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that's way too much to spend. They really need to come out with a version where they package all the expansions together at a good discount. Would definitely buy DW if they did that.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    On the original topic, when I tried Endless Space, it seemed competently made and slick but just didn't "click" with me for some reason. I've watched a few playthroughs of Distant Worlds and that looks like a totally brilliant 4X space game. Unfortunately the price for the full game is just ridiculous (over $80 last I checked and should go past $100 with the latest expansion.) I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that's way too much to spend. They really need to come out with a version where they package all the expansions together at a good discount. Would definitely buy DW if they did that.
    It's $70 for everything, including the new expansion, over on Matrix's site.

    For newcomers we have an amazing bundle offer. Get the entire Distant Worlds series and all its expansions for just $69.96! To get the bundle just add any Distant Worlds title to your cart and the bundle will be offered to you. That’s a saving of nearly 40% off the base price!
    If that’s just too much content for you, we’re also dropping the base game to just $19.99 and all expansion will be sold separately for just $19.99! if you purchase Return of the Shakturi or Legends as part of the bundle, they are available for only $14.99! That’s a savings of up to 50% off the base price!
    As an added bonus to existing Distant Worlds fans, through the duration of the sale Distant Worlds – Shadows will be priced at $19,99, $5 off the regular price, or the same discount given to newcomers to the series who take advantage of our bundle discount.
    http://www.matrixgames.com/store/379/Distant.Worlds

    That's still too rich for many folk's blood, I'm sure, but I figured I'd mention it.
    Last edited by vinraith; 25-05-2013 at 05:45 AM.

  19. #19
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    Endless Space has the best implementation of 4x multiplayer I've experienced, also. (easy to set up, drop-in/drop-out, etc.) Worth pointing out.

  20. #20
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    I still find Master of Orion 2 still holds up well.

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