Edit: Please note that the first post is originally from June 1, 2015. I continue this thread to keep my feedback contained here.
I'm a causal gamer of GalCiv2 and since release day of GalCiv3. I play like 3 or 4 games a year, with long breaks in between. I just wanted to give a little feedback after playing the tutorial, losing against the Altarians on normal difficulty und now being in the middle of a huge map on beginner level.
I wrote down just what came to mind, so this is very subjectiv and also there are probably many aspects I forgot. However, I hope it contributes a little to the understanding of what my type of GalCiv3-Player wants.
1. First thing that I noticed: Sound!
The soundeffects on the map are awesome. Maybe unrealistic, but awesome. The music is good, but it could use more variety - maybe put in the old songs from GalCiv2?
2. Performance: The game works very smooth. It is fast loading, the turns are quick. In fact GalCiv2 on the same machine is much slower.
3. Trade screen is very good, I like the comments of the AI that show if the deal is good enough.
4. Probably my most favourite innovation is the turn button that helps you take care of unfinished business like idle ships etc.
5. The graphics are nice. Maybe not overwhelming, but I like to look at the game.
6. Tooltipps are very informative. Well done, keep them up!
7. Techtrees are nice. They have lots to explore and the decision what is researched in what order impact the course of the game. The specialisations are great, I think there should be even more choices - maybe even complete forks and you can only choose on path.
8. The wheel to customize the spending of the planets is a good innovation too. It allows much more precise control over production. It took me some time to get used to it, but now I love it.
9. The adjancency on the planet tiles is also a nice feature. It gives the planning of planets a little more weight.
10. The diplomacy and UP is good.
11. The custom faction creator - I like the options.
12. Strategic resources. I like them because you don't really need them but if you have them, you can get certain advantages. That makes competing for them a valid and fun part of the game.
13. Modding and further development: I'm happy to hear that there will be a modding community and that expansions and DLCs are planned.
14. Battleviewer: Much nicer than in GalCiv2. I rarely watch the battles since I'm more interested in the outcome. However it is good that you are able to analyse the performance of ships.
1. Ideology - I'm getting the concept, but I'm not really feeling it. Fluff-wise it is to abstract that you earn points ... and why are the points good, bad oder neutral? Maybe if it was described differently, than it would feel better. Also there seems to be no indicator on how many ideology points I produce every turn? So I can't really judge when the next ideology will become available.
2. AI - since I'm not a power player, I can't really judge the performance of the AI. Also I don't have enough gaming hours yet. But so far the AI seems good enough for me.
3. Galaxy set up - I like the options, but it doesn't seem that much different.
4. Victory conditions. It is good that you can edit them during game, but I feel there should be more. Why no building victory? Why no victory for keeping peace x number of rounds? I think with more victory conditions and maybe even some scenarios GalCiv3 could provide a more diverse gaming experience.
5. Immersion: I'm able to immerse myself into my empire, but I feel it could be even better. Hard to describe why and what is missing, just wanted to put that out there.
6. Shipdesigner is ok, but I'm not really into ship-designing. The design-tools (rotate, gizmos etc.) seem to be very helpful. Also the naming of the parts and the sorting options help a lot.
1. Espionage. That was a great aspect of GalCiv2. I know it is planned as expansion - but please hurry up with it.
2. Fluff on the planets - the little history and the opinions of inhabitants in GalCiv2 were a nice feature. It gave the planets more "personality".
1. The galaxy map is to cluttered when zoomed out. There are to many tactical symbols competing for attention. I think it would be a good idea to have different views of the galaxy on the main map. For example a tactical view, that shows only planets and ships. Or an economic view, that shows planets and starbases.
2. The ergonomics are in parts quite bad - the lists don't really help to keep things organized, because there is no sorting, no grouping, no searching. The ship, starbase and planets list are basically useless when you have more than 10 of something.
Better ergonomics would help to keep track of things and be more efficient in gaming. Consider that I don't get payed to play the game, I play the game to relax. I come back from work and load up a game that I last played a month or more ago and I only got about 2 hours! Therefore I need tools that help me to quickly get back into my empire (where are which ships, what planet does what ...). Also I enjoy managing my empire and making decisions, not clicking around! So please try to minimize the clicks and focus on giving the player control.
3. I don't like that improvements that are queued for updates, are displayed as if they were in construction. Also I'm having trouble to keep track of what basic improvement upgrades into what high level improvement. So I unlock a tech that tells me that I can now build shopping centers - great, but is it a new improvement or does something else upgrade into it? If yes, what improvement upgrades into it? If I build a basic factory, what will it upgrade into?
Maybe if there was an info (tooltipp) on the planet screen that shows for each improvement the different levels it will upgrade to, than I wouldn't feel so lost.
4. The custom faction creator - yes, as mentioned the options are great, but it has annoying bugs. Why can't I edit an existing faction directly? Why don't the textboxes have scrollbars if you put in longer texts?
GalCiv3 really feels like it is a better version of GalCiv2! Good job on that. I already found myself having a hard time to quit and wanting to play "just one more turn". I feel like the galaxy is bigger and more complex than before. I will play it for a long time.