Good Afternoon Stardock,
After two years or so since game launch I would like to share the current state of the game in players eyes. Now I know Crusade will change the game play of the game but, most of these issues have been around since pre-launch and not much has been done about them or even been acknowledged. Overall many Founders are owners of Galactic Civilizations II and most were looking for a more modern game that could bring Galactic Civilizations II up to date and expand on this great game.
Now with that being said there is a lot of potential to Galactic Civilizations III and I believe the upcoming expansion could help bring people back to the game but, as a long time fan of the series and Stardock, even though my hopes are high, I'm struggling to play games for the following reasons.
- Bugs, many bugs have been taken care of, however, they still plague the game. Now personally the FOW bug isn't big for me, however, it's in every game and, I don't know how this is not being reproduced in house to correct. (Keep in mind I've tuned out a lot of minor bugs and don't notice them until I see them on the forums and that is the one that has been focused on in the last month or so.)
- Unbalance, now mind you unbalance is part of the game, however, certain race traits become very exploitable by the player causing research to skyrocket beyond anyone else with out the trait.
- AI fall off after early game. If a human player can get past the AI early game, the AI puts up little fight thereafter.
- Insane map statistics. Below is a walk through of my first 20 turns of an insane game with abundant settings. Let's face it abundant is not abundant on an Insane map. Huge or below it is but, Insane does not compare.
- Multiplayer Love. Personally this is the only way I've played the game over the past several months. Mainly because myself and the other player have a regular night or two a week we get together and play. Now I know this is only played and used by a small percentage of players, however, if some changes were made, it may make multiplayer more common. Also why can't mega events be a part of this, especially if the humans are playing co-op against the AI? There are also minor MP bugs as well, however, chat is the only ones that stick out.
Now on to the game log, if one goes through this they can see my largest issue is lack of planets with the abundant settings with the insane map.
Thanks for listening...
Insane Map Size
Abundant on all settings except Pirates.
Week One - Dawn of Interstellar Travel:
Starting the game on my home world, Zalis, luck is shining my way with Geothermal Springs (+2 Manufacturing, +1 Tourism) right next to my Capitol. I quickly build a basic factory on that tile. Other noticeable bonus’s, Prometheus Stone (+5% moves), Rare Earth Metals (+2 Research, +1 Manufacturing), Floodplain (+1 Population, +1 Wealth).
Time to adjust the Production Wheel, I go a little heavy on Manufacturing/Research 40%, Economy 20%. This does create a little coercion issue but, not bad. I start researching Hives as those extra production points will work wonders.
I rush build a basic bare bones colony ship as I need to expand my planets. I send my scout, survey ship and starting colony ship off in opposite directions to the next closest star systems. On to the next turn…
Week Two – Nearest Star System:
On to week two, I rush build a second basic factory adjacent to my Capitol, previous basic factory and, the Rare Earth Metals, +6 bonus for me.
Travelling through space I discover my first two star systems, unfortunately for me, even though habitable planets are abundant both stars are red giants with no planets around them. Now to continue to the next possible star. I have found my first anomaly but, I’m choosing not to send my survey ship in that direction right now as I am choosing to explore more space before redirecting my survey ship to the anomaly.
Week Three – No Habitable Planets:
Production is starting to boom on my home world, up to 17 points. I have continued to rush build basic factories, adjacent to the other two as well as adjacent to Rare Earth Metals, +3 bonus for me. I now rush build a basic constructor. Hopefully I can get some Durantium. I now have reached 3 adjacent star systems, with no habitable planets, have to continue to explore.
Week Four – Aliens:
I need to start to research new technology and, to this point it will still take 13 additional turns to research Hives. I rush build a Research Library on the Rare Earth Metals tile +2 bonus for me. Additional to that I rush build another colony ship.
Beyond my home world I continue to explore space. The fourth star system I’ve come across has a class 6 planet, finally something to colonize. Sending colony ship to that planet to colonize, 4 weeks out. I have discovered aliens, the Flarite Community. Unfortunately for me, I can not understand them as I have not researched Universal Translator technology yet.
Week Five – Seven:
Not much has changed, I now have rushed built another 2 Research Libraries adjacent to my Capitol, +4 bonus each for me. I continue to explore space, I have found a Manufacturing Relic, however, it will take several turns to get a constructor in the area.
Week Eight – Colonization:
I’ve finally made it to that class 6 planet. An Elemental Extractor, I will choose +25 Benevolent, +1 Resource to all mining bases. That should come in handy. The planet is sparse with the only tile adjacent to another is a Hyper Silicates trade resource. I rush build a Research Laboratory next to it, +2 bonus for me.
Now I have some ideology points to spend. I have chosen Eminence, which allows the building of a Missionary Center and will allow me to continue to collect Benevolent Ideology points throughout the game. Being that planets appear to be sparse, even though set to abundant, I may need this to advance my ideology throughout the game.
Week Nine – Fifteen - The emptiness of space:
Starting to build a Missionary Center, however, not much else has changed. Research on the Hives has completed, started to research Universal Translator. Built my first mining star base, I am collecting 4 Durantium and 4 Thulium.
I have built a Durantium Refinery and I’m in the process of building a Thulium Data Archive. While moving one of my colony ships, while the colony ship was off screen, it produced the FOW reveal bug (turn 14). So far I have found 18 stars, however, still only one habitable planet, to this point doesn’t appear to be abundant to me.
Week Sixteen – Technology Trade:
The Flarite Community, has reached out to me and offered to trade Interstellar Travel for Universal Translator. It would not be smart to turn down this trade so I accepted. Continuing to explore space, still no new habitable planets found.
Week Seventeen – More Aliens:
I have now discovered an additional alien faction, the Loomite Parasitic. Unfortunately when I have run into them while discovering my second planet. Too bad they’ve already colonized it. So far 2 habitable planets found in 21 star systems. I have also not run into the Bazaar yet, hopefully soon.
Week Eighteen – Extreme Worlds:
I have discovered a third planet, however, it’s Radioactive and I’m unable to colonize it. Better continue to look. On the bright side I have now researched Industrialization Adaption, so technology is progressing.
Week Nineteen – Major Event:
Give Peace A Chance, +1 Diplomacy to all races. A wonderful bonus, too bad we can’t get these while playing multiplayer games. Meanwhile I have discovered another habitable star system, unfortunately again it was already colonized by the Voufan Creator. Along with this was another extreme world, Frozen, maybe I’ll find something soon.
Week Twenty – Game on Hold:
After twenty weeks, I have put the game on hold to move on for the day. At this point I have two planets, my home world, Zalis which has 41.2 Manufacturing, 40.5 Research. I have met 3 factions, discovered 30 stars and have revealed 3 habitable planets, however, two were already colonized. I have also discovered 2 extreme worlds. All in all 4 of the 30 systems have planets in them to colonize.
Problems discovered on this map. Bazaar is unfound, FOW bug is present any time you move a ship from a part of the map where the ship is off screen. Habitable planets seem scares (uncommon) even though abundant. Anomalies also appear uncommon, have only six in twenty turns, only one by my survey ship, which was a worm hole and, I did not investigate.
Hopefully Crusade fixes some of these issues, however, hope is not high.