Sword Of The Stars II Closed Beta Imminent

the lords of winter are actually very contented,but thanks for your concern

Quickly! Kerberos’ gargantually betitled 4X sci-fi strategy sequel, Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter, is due out at the end of this very month and Paradox are now accepting applicants for the closed beta. You’ll need to go here to register your interest, providing intimate details of your life, such as how many hours a day you can spend directing squadrons of swords through the aether. Applications close on October 12th and the lucky few should discover if they made the cut by the 13th. I never found the time to play the original very much but I’m quite the fan of conquering space so perhaps I shall become acquainted with these Lords of Winter.


  1. Enzo says:

    I think I’m in the minority here, but in my opinion Sword of the Stars was very shitty. There’s plenty of better 4X games around.

    • ASBO says:

      Could you recommend some? I’ve just gotten into Sins of a Solar Empire recently.

    • WMain00 says:

      …Such as?

      (I ask just in general!) :)

    • Enzo says:

      Yep, Sins of a Solar Empire is pretty great, but first of all check out Galactic Civilizations II (and the addons, forgot their names). It’s brilliant, it’s kinda like Civilization 4 in space except better.

      Alpha Centauri was also cool, it’s a forgotten classic.

      EDIT: Space Empires was good, but it’s very ugly and buggy. It has 5 or 6 sequels, I don’t know which one is the best.

    • WMain00 says:

      I could never get into Sins or GalCiv. I think I’m just not a fan of Stardocks style.

      Alpha Centauri is awesome though.

    • Enzo says:

      You know what? Just play Galactic Civilizations II and forget all the other games that I mentioned. GC2+addons has the best ship designer I have ever saw, you can make anything in this game. If you like messing around in the ship editor and customizing every little detail in your fleet then you’ll love this game.

    • MrMud says:

      I like it for the Real Time combat with your customized ships. That part is pretty great.

    • Hanban says:


      I bought and played SOTS because I thought the combat would be somewhat similar to Homeworld, I was however disappointed. Personally I found the combat pretty bland and unenjoyable. Still hoping SOTS2 will improve on the formula and make it better, however!

    • BadgerAttackSquad says:

      If I want a good 4x I just go back and play MOO2:BA. I didn’t like how Galciv was singleplayer and I didn’t feel you could outstrip the other races in weapons technology the same way you could in the MoO games.

      I used to just sit in an isolated corner of the galaxy with enough good planets to get by cackling while I constantly upgraded my tech. When multiplayer, I’d often have an ally defend me with ships so that when the other races finally try to turn on me, I can come back with a fleet full of stellar converters.

    • ChiefOfBeef says:

      In related news I’m one of a few hundred people that were able to pre-order and pay upfront for the Rebellion expansion for Sins and nothing has been heard about it for ages now. Diplomacy was supposed to be the last but after the Elemental fiasco Stardock commissioned the forth expansion and the features made me giddy. I was also kind of hoping they would make a 64-bit version so it could use more memory and have way bigger galaxies.

      I must investigate the progress and hope it hasn’t stalled or been canned.

    • Vinraith says:

      To each their own, of course. For my money SotS and Distant Worlds are the best space 4x around. Gal Civ 2 was good too, until Stardock failed to patch the last expansion pack. ToA had so many great ideas and great features, but like so many Stardock products of late it just doesn’t quite work.

    • James Allen says:

      Distant Worlds. Here is my review.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I really, really liked Sword of the Stars, although I bought the Complete Collection and so didn’t experience its early brokenness. I own Sins and GalCiv too, but after some initial play time I put them both down and haven’t had any desire to go back. SotS? Still installed!

      With that said, I’m not quite sure what to do about SotS2. Early adopters of the first game didn’t seem to have the best experience. I guess it depends on how patient I’m feeling when it releases…

    • MFToast says:

      Homeworld 3 was a great game, too! ;P

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Arrrgghhh MFToast! It’s not funny!





    • dudugu says:

      I think gamers who are more interested in the combat aspect the game (spaceship battles) prefer SotS while those who are more interested in the empire management and diplomacy aspect prefer GalCiv2.

    • Fiatil says:

      Pretty much this ^^^^

      You just need to approach the game knowing that the best way to go about business is to glass an enemy’s planet and eradicate their entire population. They added the ability to convert planets peacefully with culture in one of the expansion packs, but this game is essentially Space: Total War. It’s good to have allies, but when the time comes you need a gigantic epic space fleet with lots and lots of guns.

      The combat isn’t exactly homeworld, which seems to make some people sad. Again, it’s better to just pretend that it’s Space:Total War, not Homeworld of Starcraft. Ships move with inertia, and they’re big cruisers/destroyers/dreadnoughts, not little nimble fighter craft. You have to use formations and combined arms; the ship designer gives you tons of options for weapon/ship section combinations and you have to take advantage of it.

      Bring on Sword of the Stars 2!

    • DK says:

      “GC2+addons has the best ship designer I have ever saw, you can make anything in this game. If you like messing around in the ship editor and customizing every little detail in your fleet then you’ll love this game.”

      And none of those details mean a damn. They’re literally nothing but visual fluff with zero gameplay impact. In SotS, every nook and cranny on your ships matters. The angle of the armor plating, the exact position of your turrets, where you aim your shots and where they actually land .

      You can’t design your own ship models in SotS, but what you CAN design actually matters.

  2. ASBO says:

    2) Be able to adequately put in a few hours a day of playtesting

    Eh… Well I couldn’t do that unfortunately.

    • Sorbicol says:

      Yeah same problem. I’d be interested but couldn’t promise to commit that much time. At least they were honest in asking!

  3. Kaira- says:

    Just bought SotS Complete from Gamer’s Gate, as I didn’t quite anticipate that I’d get Dark Souls today. Oh well, SotS shall wait for a week or two.

  4. Vinraith says:

    SotS 2 is also now available for preorder on Gamersgate. Needless to say, I’ve already got my copy lined up. It’s a shame I’m much too busy to be able to help with the beta.

    • DK says:

      For anyone else looking to pre-order, I’d make sure you preorder the place that has the DLC packs included that you want.
      Gamersgate gets you Liir and Morrigi DLC packs. So if you’re not a fan of dolphins (understandable) or Dragon-bird-things (You MONSTER) you might wanna wait to see what Steam and the other services have.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    DX10 only? craps!

    Right, hello Mr Amazon, meet Mr Credit card.

    • Heliocentric says:

      From direct 2 drive

      Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter Download Minimum System Requirements
      Operating system: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
      Processor: 1.5 GHz Intel Pentium or equivalent
      Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended for Windows Vista)
      Hard drive space: 3 GB
      Video: DirectX 9-compliant video card with 128 MB RAM
      Sound: DirectX 8.1-compatible sound card
      DirectX®: DirectX 9c (November 2007)
      Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard, and speakers
      Internet connection for multiplayer

      So dx10 is just for the beta then?

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ll trust Rorschach over the D2D guys…

      link to sots2.rorschach.net

      Minimum Requirements

      OS: Windows Vista 32-bit
      RAM: 2-GB RAM
      Video: 512-MB DirectX 10
      Display: 1024×768
      HDD: 2-GB free space
      CPU: Core2 Duo or equivalent
      DX: February 2010 or newer (DX10)
      Sound: Any Windows Vista compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
      Control: 2-button mouse and keyboard
      8 play multiplayer
      * Internet required for online play. LAN required for local multiplayer.

    • ZephyrSB says:


      I really love SotS, but I’m going to upgrade from XP to play this? Seems a little against Paradox’s approach to the market – then again, as they increasingly become the PC flagship, I suppose they now need to be the ones to push this kind of stuff.

      I only really upgrade my OS with new hardware, this whole buying a boxed copy is gonna be a new experience…

  6. Eskatos says:

    I still play SOTS regularly. In my opinion it’s the best 4x game in 3D I’ve ever played. Definitely looking forward to this.

  7. TsunamiWombat says:

    I played the hell out of SOTS for a few days, like hours on end, at least until I finally maxxed out research with my fighting Space Dolphins. After that there didn’t seem like much of a reason to play anymore since I had seen the biggest toys.

    PS: This game has Space Dolphins

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      The game had a randomized tech tree, so next time you play the top tier techs could be completely different? Your phaser point defense arrays might never exist, so missile spam might be king. Or perhaps high tech lasers exist but reflective coatings don’t.

      I had an entire empire collapse in flames because the game revealed the perfect counter to my setup existed for the first time, and my mighty warfleets might as well have been spitting instead of launching missiles.

  8. Arathain says:

    Flippin’ excited about this. I do like SotS a lot. I really like the sound of the direction they’ve been taking the sequel. More detailed systems, more detailed ships and more detailed ships systems? Lovely. Persistent fleet commanders sounds great. Immortal megalomaniacal space whales? Sold.

  9. vecordae says:

    I am pretty excited about this. While not everyone gets SotS, I absolutely loved it (and still play it regularly). It wasn’t perfect, but many of my primary complaints with the game are being directly addressed with the sequel. The ships have a much more solid feel now and you have far more control over how they look than in the first game. When it comes time to battle, all of the ships from your fleet are present in the system now and the map contains the entire system being fought over. Defensive installation will launch fighters, system defense boats will rally to provide assistance.

    It should be pretty awesome.

    If you’re expecting something more akin to GalCiv or Sins, then you’ll be disappointed as it plays nothing like either. The closest comparison I can give you is it’s Total War in space, only instead of samurai or hoplites, you have cruisers.

  10. MacGuffin says:

    I also started playing SotS with the complete collection and missed the early brokenness. However, I still enjoy playing it a great deal. I never cared for GalCiv2 and Sins had trouble holding my attention, but SotS I keep coming back to for my space 4x enjoyment. I’m really looking forward to the sequel, but I’ll just wait for the final release as I don’t have a lot of time to test.

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  12. pagad says:

    I really love Sins of a Solar Empire, is Sword of the Stars anything like it? Tried Gal Civ, got frustrated at the difficulty. I don’t think it was my cup of tea.

    • Vinraith says:

      Sins is a fairly traditional RTS in 4X clothing, it has very little in common with actual 4X games. The scale and the pacing may be similar, but from a mechanical perspective any 4X game is going to be considerably more complex, and markedly deeper.

    • Heliocentric says:

      To answer your question, SotS is turn based and while you don’t “build houses on your planets” and have a dozen sliders to manage you do have a more complex set of logistical systems in place (ships need fuel, Fleets need Command & Control ships to fight effectively in large groups). You cant just “tank rush” a massive fleet at your enemies Homeworld an expect to win like you can in sins.

      The Technology you’ll have available for research and the things they will lead to are randomised against a framework of possibilities every game and for each player.

      But nor do you have to juggle influence or technology victory against military concerns, meaning the wheels of war are tantamount despite trading actually being possible, additionally the combat is real time making SotS more like Total war: Space than anything else.

  13. mR.Waffles says:

    As a huge 4X space ship game fan, if I have to micro manage fuel tankers again in Sword of the Stars 2 I’ll be so pissed.

    • Heliocentric says:

      You micro managed tankers? Just bundle one in a fleet and when it runs out you have reached the end of your journey… or more sensibly just put a refinery in your fleet.

    • vecordae says:

      Good news! Refeuling/repairing has been folded into something called “support”. Provided your fleet is withing a certain distance of a naval base, they are considered to “fully supported.” In order for them to go past the naval base’s support range, they need to bring along support ships. Support ships repair and refuel your fleet, but are vulnerable in a fleet action if your enemy can find them. Also, ships always have enough supply to limp back home if things go all ploin-shaped, so no more fleets sitting stranded in space.

    • Fiatil says:

      They made auto-refueling the default in the first patch dude. All you have to do is build tankers, and send them along with your fleets. There’s a really obvious green or red line telling you if you have enough fuel to get to where you need to go. If you don’t, build another tanker.

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  15. Solidstate89 says:

    I always wanted to like Sword of the Stars. I really did. It was right up my alley.

    But I just could never get into it. Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations II are both far more satisfying for me. Especially the unique humor in GalCiv.

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