Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view + comments

Moderator: Pandora Moderators

Post Reply
Skukkuk
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view + comments

Post by Skukkuk » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:59 pm

Hi there,

writing my first beta-review in a textfile so i just post it into quotes. Enjoyed the first game really very much and look forward to see this game soon on the market! :lol:

Pandora First Contact
Skukkuk Beta-Tester


Installing:

Since i don't want the program to be in the Games folder instead the program folder i changed installation direction.

Pre start:

The icon is a bit insignificant. Using glasses i couldn't see the big 'P' at first view. The star-like sun rising in the upper right corner really overwhelmes all other. Probably you reconsider changing the icon.

Start:

The game launcher is starting the game and properly the client is updating. Unfortunately my avast anti-virus-program is protecting my system against the updater and switched it into the sandbox. Allowed to continue and the game starts. System loading, but when trying to create GUI, game crashes.

Second try the very same problem.
System: Win7, 8gb RAM, Phenom IIx4 64bit 959, Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0, Asus HD 7950 DirectCU II (1680x1050)
Third try with game in admin mode pretty same issue.
Checking known issues and found Asus AI suite to interfere with the program so i dissable it.
Fourth try, same issue again.
Dissabling virtual clone drive and some other background programs.
Fifth try, same issue again.

Posting report and logfiles in the Pandora beta forum.

Restart after report:

Got notice after my report and restarted game. New update availible, right now game starts properly. Choosing German as written language and start again.

First game:

The start view is nice and i'm getting a view on a futuristic game appeal. The intro is quite impressive. Besides i recognize little microstutters at the large center spaceship there. Reckognizing the info and background info all in my chosen language. Tips are still in English.

Chosen random and got violet units for Lichtorden (Order of Light). Is there a option to choose one's main colour? Founded first city...after i recognized that the main order for a colonizer is situated as the very last order for that unit. Nice to get a first land unit for exploration and defence duty for free. Renaming, research tree and building is quite good known from games like Civilization V, so it's quite easy to handle it.
The workshop to enhance units is a new and interesting feature. Like it from the very first minute. Great feature. So far no alternatives, so i build a Former (builder unit). The in-city view is nice and all needed informations are displayed properly. The music is colorfull and in a space enviroment. Titles changing from time to time so go on listening. The main frame has a inspiring structure and so i explore it a bit to get infos about economic, military aso till i push end turn button.
Hey, my troops got hurt...no knowing why, i order them to leave the mushroom field they actually are in and heal at my first city.
Exploring the nearer surrounding of the city with my healed unit and found a lost alien structure. Besides i recognized a new lifeform. Very impressive right now. I like that challenges while exploring. This produces a in-depth story and i could better adopt the sci-fi frame.
Second turn brought up a new exobiologic lifeform. Ordered my guard to attack it and after doing so i got a new technical improvement. My colony starts progressing quite early. Yeah. Got a xenomorph-phereomator and got the option to use it in the workshop. Equipping a new guard with this tool and renamed it properly. First research is done, so i choose another project. Seems one couldn't choose a far away reasearch field and have a automated research till then. So i have to pick each step manually. Probably this might be a idea for a enhencement. My chosen field for research is unwilling to stay...i have to order it 4 times till the system takes it. Same problem after the next turn...research is empty again and i am asked to choose research every turn. Bug?
My guard explores some more lifeforms. All seem to have a different origin, but the picture looks all time the same. Well, after picking firworks for research several times for every turn i change over to another field and now it works. Seems fireworks is the problem in the research area.
My first production of a Former is ready and i order it to exploit a mineral field and start building a mine there. New production is the new designed Exo-Master-Guard unit. Recognizing the tool tips are open in and outside the city view. Nice feature. But, i can't get it away if i do not choose to dissable all tooltips. Could need a enhancement to flip it on and off as player wants them to. Inside the city panel i could see farmers and miners in numbers, but am i able to choose where they should work or is this automatic?
Next research is ready...starting Fireworks again and crossing fingers if this research tree is working now. First mine is produced, so my Former is ordered the next goal. My Guard encounters a stronger lifeform so i order them to retreat and wait for the new Exo unit to assist. Hey, fireworks is not dissapearing again...puh... Ordering my Former to build a wood. Nice to see all possibilities they could form on each territory. Seems a fency creature lives inside the mushroom fields, as my Former got hurt. Ordering the Guard to protect it. Hey, my Exo-Master-Unit is ready...going for theat heavy lifeform threatening my colony. Research is ready, so i design a new unit with a flamethrower. Unfortunately i couldn't build a SUV with a flamethrower, seems this weapon is only for personal use. How could i see, which unit may be able to use this weapon?
My Exo-Guard heads for the heavy lifeform, but it flees. Encountering a alien ruin and found some gold inside. Since i couldn't know how to use the xenomorph-phenomator i ordered my Exo-Guard to attack the heavy lifeform...now i have no Exo-Guard any more. But, i'm learning, my next unit will be better prepared. ...hopefully...
Aye...my Former was sent to build a road to my next planned city...argh...he ran into that heavy lifeform and died. Challenging...so i have to plan better for the next time.

Here i end my first introduction into this very nice game. All in all it has a good chance to find a position between other big titles like Civilization V and other round-based strategical games. On the first view it is well made and has all features for a great game which i am able to enjoy for a longer time. (Played Civ V for...ah...over 800 hours now, while testing a lots of modifications with it.) Hopefully Pandora might be offered on Steam, so i could join multiplayer games with my friends very easy. Plus, one has easy access on add-ons and modifications from the player comunity.

Well...now i get hungry for more turns to progress. Pandora defenetly has the power for a very long-term challenge. Enjoyed the first...wow...hour. Thought i only played for several minutes. Nice, really nice!
Really better like this sci-fi surrounding over similar fantasy based titles. So, from my side a big thanks for this impressing game!

Good gaming,

Skukkuk
Last edited by Skukkuk on Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Skukkuk
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view

Post by Skukkuk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:03 am

Well, played some more rounds and now it shows up a bit different to me then early thought about.
Game balance:

My very first game was early enough in a dead road...too many agressive neighbours, way too much aliens to prosper. So i tried a 2nd time...then a 3rd time...all the same result.
Am i doing wrong or is the game not well balanced? My next try was to alter the game to play on 'easy' level, having aliens be calm, cut one competitor out and had a large instead a normal size map.
At first i prospered, had the luck to establish 2 colony cities, while the aliens where 'normal' agressive.

What really disturbed the progress is the ongoing bug about the research tree. Most tech won't start on first pick and on next turn i'm still requested to pick a research. Really annoying bug. One could choose any other field...1 out of 3 is working and the research is going forward. The tech part which i mainly wanted 'could' be taken afterwards, but in most cases i have to research 2 or 3 other techs before the aimed wanted tech could be plugged into the research. This has to be fixed before release, defenetly!

Well, after i met some other competitors on the map...suddenly i got the notice that alien forces whipped out a city. Didn't recognize that it was ment to have MY city to be destroyed at first so i went on. A few turns further my second city was whipped out by aliens...this time i realized that i only have my founder city left. Well, those aliens are mostly calm and weak...powerlevel 2-4, so i didn't care too much. Besides there are a few level 8+ aliens, but till that time they just walked arround and didn't attack any city. I researched something about further understanding of alien tech and the result should be that the aliens got more calm due to mutual understanding of what they are. The result was the complete opposite...the aliens started forced attacks on my units and cities. Seems like a big fat bug to me.

Playing on easy level completely whiped out the competition part as all other AI players only tried to peacefully deal with me in diplomatics. Lately one AI decided to attack me, but...this player was that far away from my position that no one would ever believe for what reason they should attack me?? The further my weapon tech advanced the higher the attack level of aliens seem to grow. Is this wanted that one has to struggle about survival against aliens on the complete game, while AI is trying to conquer you?

At this point i took a break for bringing my thoughts in.

On my 2nd view i have to alter my first impression. It is still a really promissing game, but it has some bugs (alien agression level, research tree to working properly) that should be worked out. The tech is a bit stressing....one could change the blueprints of the troops, but the steps are that fast so one is all the time busy trying to update the old units. The ongoing alien raids do cut out any idea about peaceful progress. No way to have Formers or Colonizers without defence units to protect them. The AI competitors are not well balanced too. On normal level they seem to act as they are designed. On easy level they just obey you, while one of them is randomly picked out to attack you anyway so you don't have too easy game.

Here are some points that need refurbishing from my view:

- 1. Tech tree (picked research is not working and slipping out)
- 2. Alien agression (alien level is upgrading the better weapon tech player has)
- 3. Alien power level (not easy to see which alien is a huge thread as the numbers regarding are too similar. my hint: mark aliens that could capture cities in remarkable color)
- 4. Tech advancement is too fast (tech is advancing faster then the builds)
- 5. AI needs some deeper balancing for different game levels (easy mode cuts them too much)
- 6. Economy unbalanced (too often got lacking food, money while other goods seem not to get any shortage)

Good gaming,

Skukkuk


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

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view

Post by SephiRok » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:13 pm

Could you please email us at pandora@proxy-studios.com with a save-game where the research bug happens and describe it in detail.

Best regards,
Rok
Rok Breulj
Designer and Programmer
Proxy Studios

Skukkuk
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view

Post by Skukkuk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:56 pm

Hi Rok,

ok, files are underway to the given email.

Good luck,

Skukkuk

Skukkuk
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view

Post by Skukkuk » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:37 pm

Played another round this night...almost the half night...it was a good competition and step by step i get a idea how to manage to survive...even on easy level. :twisted:

Besides there are some points that do stress me:

1. Units can't be combined as an army. Every time i combine them by double-click on the field the troops hold, they get together as an arms. But, in the very next moment after the movement they are seperated again and i order single units instead of a army. Is this wanted or is this a bug?

2. The AI is settling wide inside my occupied area. Even if i delcared war and conquered some of their nearby cities. At the moment we negotiate peace they do pop out cities within my area of control. This is quite annoying. In Civilization 5 there are zones of influence and you could warn the AI not to settle within that zone and they keep distance. In Pandora i see no legal way, instead of war, to block this spreeding of AI cities.

3. Armys (if i manage to combine them for a single round) do attack as if they where single units. Just one after the other is attacking...and you do not have any control which of this units should attack the current opponent unit. I loose most of my good units by this problem. My suggestion, let's form real armys and let the whole stack fight the other whole stack. Losses should be cut in a order the player could choose. (a. small b. medium c. large ... units or in a other order). This way you could bring in tactical and strategical in-depth play and enhancement for the research area too. Look at games like Endless Space where this part is very well done.

Thx the reading,

Skukkuk

dalves
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view + comments

Post by dalves » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:39 am

Skukkuk wrote:2. The AI is settling wide inside my occupied area. Even if i delcared war and conquered some of their nearby cities. At the moment we negotiate peace they do pop out cities within my area of control. This is quite annoying. In Civilization 5 there are zones of influence and you could warn the AI not to settle within that zone and they keep distance. In Pandora i see no legal way, instead of war, to block this spreeding of AI cities.
Do you mean the area inside your borders, or the area nearby? The first I think should be a bug (I have seen it before, though. I think I posted a savegame). In case of the second, I don't really understand those zones. Do you mark them and warn the AI?

Skukkuk
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view + comments

Post by Skukkuk » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:55 am

dalves wrote: Do you mean the area inside your borders, or the area nearby? The first I think should be a bug (I have seen it before, though. I think I posted a savegame). In case of the second, I don't really understand those zones. Do you mark them and warn the AI?
Civ5 has two different ways to mark property. The first are the visible borders, with clear visibility and rules about ownership. The second is a global 'zone of influence', where one's influence (rated by culture points) is higher then from any other. The AI is unlikely to settle within cultural influence of another civilization, except their original program is forcing to expand that way. So, the zone of influence is no real border, but a system to decide where to set higher or lower interest for expansion.

In my Pandora game i settled a whole island by founding cities at the coastline. I planed the cities far enough away to have space to prosper. So the AI colonizer just slips between those gaps and founds cities right behind my lines inside my core lands. I couldn't prevent this, except i declare war every time and conquer those settlements. No real player would ever do so. Besides...by declaring war on them, i got enemy troops attacking from every single side...they must have researched faster-then-light movement to have troops on all points of the whole map. Every city of mine without a protectional army will get catched asap. Plus, they do produce troops faster then anybody else so my better troops are useless...even on easy level. Seems quite imbalanced to me.

dalves
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Game impressions - 1st and 2nd view + comments

Post by dalves » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:13 am

Thank you for the explanation, I hadn't played Civ 5 properly (only one free weekend).

The computer does tend to try to fill every space available. Your idea makes sense, but I don't know how could it be implemented here, since there aren't culture points.
Also, if the computer can attack you when you try to capture its new city, I guess it makes sense for them to try to expand near you. It has the military power to back that expansion.
I think the computer may be playing a bit too well. I'm yet to see someone that says he can produce better than the computer.

Post Reply

Return to “Pandora : Public Beta”