First impressions

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Giskler
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:07 pm

First impressions

Post by Giskler » Fri May 31, 2013 8:51 pm

Ok, so I just finished playing through my first game, here are my impressions and notes:

I played a Solar Dynasty on random medium size world on very easy (wanted to poke around and learn mechanics first). I conquered the world and got a military victory in 2125, I had just started getting into the third tier of research.

I encountered the following bugs/technical issues:

Drop pods for me were greyed out the whole time and were never usable. Might be because I researched Operation Valkyrie before Damped Landing Pod.
Economy screen lags. A lot. Trying to filter the list or automating population assignment was causing the game to freeze up for several seconds.
Pathing needs some work. Units would always try to path over water tiles instead of moving around it on roads, regardless of movement points left. Needs to be optimized.
Another pathing issue is uncovering hostile units while moving along a designated route. Upon discovering a hostile unit directly in a path, my unit should halt and the screen should center on it. Now it paths around hostile units and wastes all movement points which is pretty dumb.

Positive points:

The sound track is awesome. Love it.
Randomized tech tree is great, makes replaying the game more interesting.
Nukes are awesome! Being able to wipe a city off the map feels great. I didn't advance far enough to try out the later stage doomsday weapons, but if they are more powerful than nukes it's going to be glorious (and terrifying!).
Lost track of time while playing (just one more turn!). Great sign.
Game has a lot of potential, reminds me a lot of Alpha Centauri/Alien Crossfire.
I thought at first research was too fast, but the tree is extensive. Love it.
Operations are awesome. Really, really cool feature.

Suggestions:

Add a scoreboard that can be enabled/disabled.
Demographics should be available during gameplay (preferably with graphs).
The mini-map should be altered to display borders/faction influence. Right now it's a bit confusing since you can see your cities, but not the area you control.
Add buttons for changing map filters like yield and enabling the hex grind on the mini-map or somewhere on the UI. I had to read the read-me file to figure out that I can toggle yields to display.
Add the ability to draw on the map to plan expansion.
Add an auto-explore button to units (if this is already possible, make it more clear how to activate it).
Add more diplomatic options. Right now diplomacy is really dull. Stuff like tech trading, city trading, conspire to declare war against others etc.
Add some type of planetary council that can enact resolutions like banning WMD etc.
Add a pop up when you enter a new era. I saw notifications for it, but it would be nice to have a pop up and some quote when I enter a new era.
Add the ability to raze cities. The AI placed some really dumb cities on my borders that I wanted to remove. (If this is already possible, make it more clear how to do it.)
Add the ability to automate city production with emphasis on production, science, food etc.
Instead of a generic image on the unit techs, show the model of the unit type you just unlocked, would be a lot more interesting that seeing the same image over and over.
Allow adding flame throwers to ATV's and tanks. Seriously, this should be possible.
Add city wall graphics to cities that progressively get more beefier as you build the better versions so you can see from the map what kind of defense a city has.
Beef up cities so they are harder to capture.
Refitting is prohibitively expensive, I used it maybe twice in the whole game I played. It's way, way too expensive and should be cut by at least 50%.
The notifications on the right side are a bit hard to read, especially on snow/ice backgrounds. Add a background, increase the size or changed the text color.
Cities retain their production queues when you capture them. It should be wiped clean as it is tedious to clear them out and if you forget to do it you end up with some outdated units you don't want.
Research should be able to be queued.
Air units are overpowered and need to be altered. Add a fuel or range limit (base them in cities) add a carrier type of ship to base them on. Remove the ability to explore ruins, makes no sense, especially sea ruins. They shouldn't be able to capture cities. That they can fly 4 moves over any terrain without worrying about fuel or range is just too powerful. Even with specialized AA units you can't cover every corner of your nation against air attacks like that.
Add more diversity to hive rewards. E.g. rescuing civilians gives you a colonizer or former, rescuing military gives you a a trooper or ATV. Maybe you can find rare resources and a unique resource appears in its place.
Mineral production needs to be buffed across the board. I was controlling 80% of the planet and I was always lacking minerals, I was never able to go into plus since the early game pretty much. I was rolling in food, research and cash, but minerals were -130 at the end.
Add some form of World/Planetary Wonders that give unique benefits. Costly, but rewarding.
Give each faction some unique building, tech or unit to diversify them even more. Focused on their traits obviously.
If my unit kills the last defending unit in a city, it should capture the city immediately not have to wait a turn to move in.
I couldn't find anywhere that who's in the lead or close to a victory or even my victory progress. If it's there it should be more clear how to find it.

Will have more once I play some more games on harder difficulties to see how the AI copes.

Giskler
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:07 pm

Re: First impressions

Post by Giskler » Fri May 31, 2013 9:55 pm

Expanding upon my initial post a bit:

I started the game and settled where I started. Set the former to automated since I had no real clue yet what the terrain is and started exploring with my trooper. I settled right next to a ruin, but it being inside my influence area didn't seem to pop it so I had to move my trooper over to investigate. Explored the area a bit and ran into some aliens. Would be cool if the first time you meet an alien you get a pop up with some flavor text about indigenous life forms and some art (maybe it did? I can't remember seeing it in any case). Loving the sound track and the graphic style of the game. The animations are cool, the units look cool and the UI is reminiscent of Civ V (which is a good thing).

I started fighting some aliens and quickly realized I needed more troops as they kinda destroyed my units. Whenever i moused over to engage them I had a hard time understanding if I would be sending my units to the slaughterhouse or vice versa since the tool tip didn't give any indicators if I would win or loose the fight. I just shows something about power, which I'm guessing is attack power. Later I figured out there's offensive power and defensive power (at least that's what I think it is).

Being able to design and name my own units is awesome. Reminds me of SMAC. Not being able to add Flame Throwers to my ATV's made me sad as it makes perfect sense to be able to do that. So, I made some Hellfire Troopers and started mopping up the aliens. After a while I had cleaned out my little island and had still to meet anyone else. Built some planes and boats to explore and found the other factions. Saw some really scary things in the water, but they never threatened me so I just ignored them the whole game. There was no point in attacking them. Aliens never returned after I killed them off which was a bit boring, I thought it would keep escalating, but they just died off.

Ruins were interesting at first, but got quickly boring when it was just a small resource boost. Was hoping for more unique rewards. Found some observatories and moved my units onto them and was expecting them to let me see a big portion of the landscape around them. Couldn't understand why they weren't working and kept trying to do it and looking for a button to enable it or something until I figured out they were just some passive research boost. Would be fun if they let you see +1 or +2 tiles around it.

After I had met all the factions I was disappointed by the limited diplomacy options. Unable to demand cities, sell/trade tech or conspire against other factions makes diplomacy kinda pointless. Every faction kept giving me small sums of money which just got annoying after a while and makes no sense. If they are trying to buy peace from me then 24 credits isn't going to cut it. Can't find any way to see demographics or any kind of scoreboard. Have no idea if I am close to any type of victory or where my competitors are. Have no idea who's more dangerous or advanced of them. I find myself frustrated because I can't tell if I am doing well or not.

Around this point I figure out that I can refit my units to newer designs, but the cost is ridiculous, upgrading all my units is a pipe-dream and doing only two nearly bankrupts me. The cost needs to be adjusted down. A lot. I'm also a bit disappointed that I can't build anything like a wonder or special project and I was hoping I would be able to participate in some planetary council type thing like in SMAC.

After a while the military faction declares war on me for no reason (he's on another island miles away from me). I proceed to crush him, but the war points out some annoying things like my units are picking dumb paths to try and go in a straight line and they wont stop moving if they run into hostile units. Attacking cities is weird since I have to wait a turn to capture it if I kill the last unit in it. I also can't really tell what kind of defenses a city has. Every city I capture retains the build queue which gets really annoying after a while. I kept getting outdated crappy units and didn't understand why until I looked at a city right after I captured it. Having to clear the production queue every time I capture a city is really tedious.

Anyway, after I kill the military faction the money faction declares war (again, for no discernible reason). I take him out as well and after I capture two small cities he built on my borders at my island I find I can't raze them. Beyond frustrating, I don't want to keep every city I capture, but I have no choice. (I later discover I can nuke cities out of existence, but that leaves fallout so not really desirable way to deal with it). After I kill off the money faction, the religious faction comes after me and I go take them out. Next the plant faction declares war. This is getting predictable. Instead of the AI's realizing that I am winning and teaming up on me, they let me deal with them one at a time.

Throughout the game I have been running in minus on minerals pretty much since the start. I was also low on food for a while, but I turned it around and I now have like 10k+ food, but still no dice on minerals even with thrice upgraded mineral extraction and mines everywhere. There must be something wrong with mineral production or demand in the game and something has to be adjusted. Another point is that I have no idea if lacking food or minerals ever really did anything negative. Whatever negative effects it has should be more pronounced.

Once I was getting close to finishing off the plant faction I started getting some pop ups saying I was close to a military victory, but I still have no clue where I can see victory progress or compare myself to the other factions. I was basically just killing off AI's until I won randomly.

Overall, I had a blast despite some annoyances and oddities, and I kept doing one more turn to see what's next in the tech tree and getting more and more powerful units.

Bit rambling here, but I hope it helps.

SephiRok
Proxy Studios
Proxy Studios
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:19 am
Contact:

Re: First impressions

Post by SephiRok » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:30 pm

Thanks for the detailed writeup, Giskler.

Regards,
Rok
Rok Breulj
Designer and Programmer
Proxy Studios

csicska
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Private First Class - Opel Blitz
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Re: First impressions

Post by csicska » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:27 pm

when some units in the city i cant switch to the city window only if i click to the economy button
when zoom out fog is annoying
2d view/simple-symbols view when zoom out?
add hotkeys/group options

Knarly
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:20 pm

Re: First impressions

Post by Knarly » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:50 pm

Sorry posted this in the wrong place.
Last edited by Knarly on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fraserkm
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:21 pm

Re: First impressions

Post by fraserkm » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:45 pm

Giskler wrote: Suggestions:

Add a scoreboard that can be enabled/disabled.
Demographics should be available during gameplay (preferably with graphs).
The mini-map should be altered to display borders/faction influence. Right now it's a bit confusing since you can see your cities, but not the area you control.
Add buttons for changing map filters like yield and enabling the hex grind on the mini-map or somewhere on the UI. I had to read the read-me file to figure out that I can toggle yields to display.
Add the ability to draw on the map to plan expansion.
Add an auto-explore button to units (if this is already possible, make it more clear how to activate it).
Add more diplomatic options. Right now diplomacy is really dull. Stuff like tech trading, city trading, conspire to declare war against others etc.
Add some type of planetary council that can enact resolutions like banning WMD etc.
Add a pop up when you enter a new era. I saw notifications for it, but it would be nice to have a pop up and some quote when I enter a new era.
Add the ability to raze cities. The AI placed some really dumb cities on my borders that I wanted to remove. (If this is already possible, make it more clear how to do it.)
Add the ability to automate city production with emphasis on production, science, food etc.
Instead of a generic image on the unit techs, show the model of the unit type you just unlocked, would be a lot more interesting that seeing the same image over and over.
Allow adding flame throwers to ATV's and tanks. Seriously, this should be possible.
Add city wall graphics to cities that progressively get more beefier as you build the better versions so you can see from the map what kind of defense a city has.
Beef up cities so they are harder to capture.
Refitting is prohibitively expensive, I used it maybe twice in the whole game I played. It's way, way too expensive and should be cut by at least 50%.
The notifications on the right side are a bit hard to read, especially on snow/ice backgrounds. Add a background, increase the size or changed the text color.
Cities retain their production queues when you capture them. It should be wiped clean as it is tedious to clear them out and if you forget to do it you end up with some outdated units you don't want.
Research should be able to be queued.
Air units are overpowered and need to be altered. Add a fuel or range limit (base them in cities) add a carrier type of ship to base them on. Remove the ability to explore ruins, makes no sense, especially sea ruins. They shouldn't be able to capture cities. That they can fly 4 moves over any terrain without worrying about fuel or range is just too powerful. Even with specialized AA units you can't cover every corner of your nation against air attacks like that.
Add more diversity to hive rewards. E.g. rescuing civilians gives you a colonizer or former, rescuing military gives you a a trooper or ATV. Maybe you can find rare resources and a unique resource appears in its place.
Mineral production needs to be buffed across the board. I was controlling 80% of the planet and I was always lacking minerals, I was never able to go into plus since the early game pretty much. I was rolling in food, research and cash, but minerals were -130 at the end.
Add some form of World/Planetary Wonders that give unique benefits. Costly, but rewarding.
Give each faction some unique building, tech or unit to diversify them even more. Focused on their traits obviously.
If my unit kills the last defending unit in a city, it should capture the city immediately not have to wait a turn to move in.
I couldn't find anywhere that who's in the lead or close to a victory or even my victory progress. If it's there it should be more clear how to find it.
+1

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