Endless Legend: Shifters Expansion Announced

Fine 4X strategy game Endless Legend [official] has another expansion coming, developers Amplitude Studios announced last night. More of the official RPS Bestest Best Game of 2014? Fab! Named Shifters, you say? It’ll add a new faction who “will be able to ‘shift’ during long winters”, you say? Aye, a bit of shifting will help pass a long winter all right. Warms you up nicely, getting the shift does.

The Shifters expansion is due in April. Here’s what Amplitude say about it:

“This expansion will include a new Major Faction called The Allayi. This new civilization will be able to ‘shift’ during long winters. All factions will also be able to collect a new resource called the ‘Pearls of Auriga’, enabling them to unlock new powers through the ‘Altar of Auriga’ and modify the upcoming winters’ impact.”

This piccy of Allayi cavalry will get bigger if you click on it:

Amplitude made the announcement during a livestreamed celebration of their fifth birthday, though only snippets of it are archived. Here’s a big lump, which I won’t embed because Twitch videos seem to autoplay even when told not to. If you want to get down to The Allayi’s groove, that’s clipped out here.

The also took the opportunity to shows off Endless Space 2’s Sophons faction on their wiki. Must be harsh, putting in a load of work to create your own birthday present. Couldn’t one of you have done it for them? You callous monsters.

22 Comments

  1. Cinek says:

    I don’t know… I bought this on Steam Sale, and never can get past ~200 turn (which by tech tree seems to be a bit beyond half). I tried playing on a map with maximum players, or with just 4, I always get bored in before getting near the end of a match.

    It plays like a cheap version of Civ V, with worse combat, no real history to pull it, but better quests and City-States.

    Anyone can give some ideas how to play this game in an interesting way? Some unorthodox map setup, or something that would keep me going beyond 100 turns?

    • Vacuity729 says:

      I would suggest playing on a smaller map and focusing on the main faction quests. Those give you a good direction for what you’re doing and are in many ways more entertaining than just the standard 4X “research faster”, “build more”, and “colonise more efficiently” than your AI peers.

    • Banyan says:

      I started and abandoned three games before I found a faction that grabbed me. Apparently, I like zerging in a 4X.

    • melin says:

      I share roughly the same feelings on the game. I think that Civ 5 is a better and more polished game. But Endless Legend has more interesting in terms of how the game is designed and the decisions you need to make. Each faction should play completely differently.

      • protein says:

        Civ V is anything but polished, especially if compared to Endless Legend. It’s a good game nonetheless, but it’s a really dumbed-down 4X filled with unbalanced civs, cheating AI that makes illogical decisions every turn, worse combat and other broken systems. Endless Legend is an improvement in every way, it is much more polished, and I say this as a Civ V fan.

  2. Sin Vega says:

    Filthy shifters. What a disgrace.

  3. Vacuity729 says:

    It’s also the Endless Weekend again. By the looks of it, the unlocks this year are identical to the unlocks last year. Did I miss something? If I unlocked everything last year, is there anything to do (other than appreciate the sweet ruin particle effects in Endless Legend)?

  4. Abndn says:

    Did they ever fix the AI? I just can’t get over how dull and passive it was. Civ V’s AI was the same, which is even more amazing considering how much better Civ IV’s AI was.

    • Sin Vega says:

      It’s had some updates since release, but I don’t know how drastic they were. It’s definitely what they ought to be working on as a priority before adding more factions.

      • geisler says:

        Still a snoozefest in my opinion. I prefer AoW III personally, but i sure had a fun romp with Endless Legend as well. It just all goes downhill once you figure out that the AI never does anything exciting.

    • Procrastination Giant says:

      The AI has gotten a bit better at actually playing the game, as in: managing troops, fighting and actually playing the individual races differently (under the hood… not that you’d really notice most of the time since the ai is so bloody passive) and can stomp you quite handily on higher difficulties, but the main problem hasn’t been fixed: It’s still dreadfully boring to play against. Dull, passive, predictable, exploitable and by-the-numbers.

      • Phantasma says:

        True, as creative and charming their games may be, AI isn’t one of Amplitude’s strong points. Be it in Endless Space or now in Legends.

        It got a bit better in army buildup and composition but still throws them away without much thought.
        And on the macro level, it mindlessly tends to landgrab like mad at the start of the game and then just sits there until the player cares to shape history all by themself.

        I really do hope that they’ll have a stern look at AI scripting for Enldess Space 2 because as much as i like them, 4X games without engaging AI (and TOO much cheating in the background) just aren’t fun in the long run.

        That and map generation. I almost never reloaded maps in Civ or other titles but every Amplitude game so far sometimes had huge gaps in providing even remotely balanced starts on a reliable basis. I don’t mind challenging starts but 10 complete duds in a row are not my definintion of an entertaining evening.

        • Phantasma says:

          Also: Edit button.

        • jerubius says:

          Ideal FIDSI placement under advanced map options is exactly what you want. It places factions based on what resources they benefit most from, rather than trying to spread everyone equidistant from each other. Also has the effect of making games more interesting by not knowing roughly how far away your neighbors are.

          And yeah, that AI is a real problem. Makes me sad my forays into the multiplayer scene have been met with failure. No one seems to be on when I look for games, and not enough of my friends have gotten it to play a game without any AI. It wouldn’t be so bad if harder AI didn’t cheat so much. A little frustrating when your options are moderate challenge at the cost of always losing the tech and expansion races, no matter how much you tech up, or how fast you expand, or laughably easy to steamroll everything. I mean, I was playing Ardent mages one game, going all in on science. I had about three times the amount of science production a turn as either of the other human players, and I was still always an era behind on science.

  5. slerbal says:

    Visually beautiful but really put me to sleep as a game. Just felt like a rehash of Civ (not that I particularly enjoy Civ either these days).

    • Luckz says:

      Civ was at its peak with Alpha Centauri. That was a long, long time ago.

  6. Cross says:

    I don’t know how much i dig the concept of the Pearl of Auriga. There’s a sense of horrific inevitability and tension to the Winter mechanic in Endless Legend, and giving players even partial control over them seems to hollow the whole tension out, to me.

    • WaitWhatHow says:

      I don’t know if I agree, the winter seemed to slow the game and kill the pacing instead adding tension. I would love something more dynamic done to the weather of Auriga. Instead of just Summer/Winter, there could be monsoons, droughts, or earthquakes.

      Amplitude Studios always tries unique concepts and really run with it, for better or worse. The world of Auriga is so interesting that hearing that they are going to flesh her out is something I can get hyped about it.

  7. bambusek says:

    Great this game still gets support while the team is focused on Endless Space 2 :) I would certainly try to grab this expansion (April is Total Warhammer month after all, so I may be low of money)

  8. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I haven’t played the game. It’s on my wishlist. The Allayi theme music is nice, though.

  9. BB Shockwave says:

    Glad I never bought this. Downloaded it, tried it, got bored by the really simplicistic combat and bad graphics instantly. Age of Wonders this ain’t.