Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors: Ancient Rome lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean. Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.
Post Reply
kool_kat
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:18 am

Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by kool_kat » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am

Gents: 8)

I read the reviews and watched some game play before my purchase. I really wanted to like this 4x4 game!

Unfortunately, after the install and first few plays, the "ugly" reared its head. :(

1. Animation and graphics. Settlers and armies are huge! Way out of proportion, but more importantly these graphics obscure other terrain features. Some terrain has a "sameness" to the tiles, making it difficult to "see-at-a-glance" what it depicts. Players are forced to hover cursor over titles for just basic information (e.g. What terrain is it?). Some animation choices are suspect for time period - moving cranes to depict construction in 500 BC? Graphics are not crisp and sharp.

2. Audio. Repetitive and annoying. Settler unit repeats "I am the man." The first few times it is slightly amusing, but after the 50th time you want to yank out your sound card.

3. Invention Tree. Lack of choices. Players are forced to progress along a technology tree that has few choices. Randomizing the few choices helps some with replay value.

4. Customized Map. Lack of choices. I want to choose the number of opponents and not have to default to playing against the other 19 opponents. In the Undeveloped and Barbarian settings, after establishing your home city, there is absolutely nothing for the player to do except hit the Advance Turn hour glass repeatedly waiting for population and resources to increase. This exercise can continue for dozens of turns and is both repetitive and boring. Poor game design. Successful 4x4 games (like Civilization) give players plenty of decision-making opportunities each turn.

5. Lack of Completeness. IMO, Aggressors is a simplified "Civilization-like" 4x4 game that just does not deliver for me an immersive, exciting, or intellectually stimulating game experience. It's unfortunate because it has potential, but needs more "chrome" for me to want to spend hours playing it.

So unfortunately, it looks like I have wasted my money on this purchase and I will need to look else where for my 4x4 fix. :( :?

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:27 pm

Hi kool_kat,
thank you for the review.
I would like add couple of points, which might eventually change your opinion.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Settlers and armies are huge! Way out of proportion
You can easily change it per your liking in Game settings->Player->Unit Size
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Some terrain has a "sameness" to the tiles, making it difficult to "see-at-a-glance" what it depicts.
You can easily change it per your liking in Game settings->Player->Terrain color overlay alpha which colours each terrain type with specific colour so they are much more distinct.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Graphics are not crisp and sharp.
Here we have to humbly confess that this is a valid point. The 3D models in Aggressors cannot be compared to models in AAA games produced by big studios. You are definitely right about this.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Repetitive and annoying. Settler unit repeats "I am the man." The first few times it is slightly amusing, but after the 50th time you want to yank out your sound card.
You can easily switch to simple click sound in Game settings->Audio->Simplified greeting sounds.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Players are forced to progress along a technology tree that has few choices. Randomizing the few choices helps some with replay value.
Here we have to agree but this is a design decision. Ancient philosophers definitely also didnt have many choices of what to focus on. The "trend" was actually pretty straightforward accross the globe.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Customized Map- I want to choose the number of opponents and not have to default to playing against the other 19 opponents.
You can simply choose what you want in Opponents panel of the "new Customized world" window. This is exactly what you are asking for.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
In the Undeveloped and Barbarian settings, after establishing your home city, there is absolutely nothing for the player to do except hit the Advance Turn hour glass repeatedly waiting for population and resources to increase. This exercise can continue for dozens of turns and is both repetitive and boring. Poor game design.
This is interesting to read because everytime I started playing Civ, the first 20-50 turns it was nothing else then just hitting end turn button. Aggressors, on the other hand, has an option to skip all this when you set it to one of the more developed options like Civilized, Developed or Advanced. The later ones jump directly to the state where well established kingdoms are taken over by players.
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Aggressors is a simplified "Civilization-like" 4x4 game that just does not deliver for me an immersive, exciting, or intellectually stimulating game experience. It's unfortunate because it has potential, but needs more "chrome" for me to want to spend hours playing it.
This is probably something what players should answer to but we rarely get a complain about Aggressors being simplified Civ. It is rather the opposite when players like the depth of the game.

We totally respect your opinion about it. It just seems that you didn't really get into all the options the game offers to you. Please give it a chance. I think the positive reviews prove that there is something about it.

P.S. this dev stream tries to reveal all the game settings options which player can change per his liking (and I was refering to in the answers). I would really like to recommend watching our dev streams in general or at least the first one which reveals all the features in a nutshell.
Pavel

Cablenexus
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Sr. Colonel - Battleship
Posts: 1680
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:09 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by Cablenexus » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:46 pm

@kool_kat,

As someone who spend almost 1000 (!) hours in this game and also being an active modder I first want to say that I'm really disspointed that the game didn't grasp you from the very beginning.

At the same time I can imagine what you write, since my very first experience with the game was the same.

I want to comment on a few points you make since they are simply not correct and it would look unfair imo for the developer and other players who want to try the game.

Unit models:

You can set the unit size in game options. Default is medium size. Some like them bigger and some like them smaller. You can all set this in game and it's the only game I know of where you can change the 3D model size ingame.
(with modding you can even make them miniscule if you prefer). This is all done because players have different preferences.

See at a glance:

You clearly did not read any FAQ, manual, review or dev diary and even not went to game settings. There are around 50 ingame settings you can tweak from saturation of terrain, color overlay, borders, transparency, 2d /3d map etc etc etc
It's impossible to say with all this customization that you cannot find a way that works for you. All sliders can be set from 1 to 100 %
You probably did not even see the buttons below the minimap. most of this visiblity changes you can simply change with a single mouse click.
I don't say it's wrong you did not find out. You play and you are dissapointed, I respect that, the game probably fails for you to make all options clear.

Just yesterday there was a 1.5 hour during Developer Stream on Twitch about customization ONLY:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/318773652

Audio

Personal taste. I have many from the over 100 tracks I like to listen to still after 800 hours. Not all of them of course.

Customization

I play games since Civilization 1, Dominions 1 and Homm 1 and I did not encountered a more flexible engine then Aggressors has.
Even the customized maps (which is not even a main feature of the game) offers many different terrain shapes, you can set again many parameters with enemy distribution, size of map, amount of enemies and many, MANY more starting tweaks, normally ingame without modding.
Opening the ag file in any XML editor makes you expand the map size, map distibtion/continent ditribution etc even more. The possibilities are endless. I just released a mod myself with 10.000 (!) tiles and 48 factions. I was never able to do that so flexible in any CIV game and I'm not even an experienced modder, just a fan of the game.

Lack of completeness compared to Civ???

This one I simply cannot agree with in any way. Civ is a great series, I love them, they are my second most played games, so I know what I speak about.
In Aggressors ALL ingame features and mechanism works together in one single META. Resources, technologies, units, terrain, state decisions, objectives and diplomacy and trade are not MINI games inside Aggressors, they all make sense and they all have at least 3 strategical layers beneath them.

For example: Building a goldmine, gold is need, it not only produce, it also consumes, it have an owner, a territory and a faction, it has a road to it or a river, it has a city in range of it or not.......it's sooooo detailed. Really and that is just a single gold mine. Units consist of multiple parameters, from loyality, supply, morale, fighting stats and many abilities you can only achieve in fights or some you can train in cities.

All of these mechanism together makes that Aggressors is not using unit stacking and the AI is using the same rules as the player. I cannot say that their behavior is exactly like a human player, but at least they USE THE SAME RULES as a human player and making the game more difficult (again with many sliders at start) is not making the AI cheat better, but simply make use of a broader range of options.

Last but not least since you mention a 20 / 30 year ongoing game that reach number VI in their series with countless of DLC and a millions number of players with a new studio making their first strategy game. It's honorable you do, but it's totally unfair to compare them in my opinion.

This game can get much better! By the dev team (consist of only a few people and only 1 main developer) and by players.

I think you made a mistake. Maybe my post looks aggressive and angry. It is a bit. It is not personal (I don't know you), but it is because probably the game fails to get you attracted the first hour or two you play (I don't think it can be more).
This is a gem. A very detailed, highly complex, very flexible and VERY ADVANCED 4 x game, not a Civ clone.

I really hope you will review all the options you mentioned are not ingame once and give it another try another time. Really you will not regret.
Thank you for reading.

dejvid2
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:50 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by dejvid2 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:20 am

I too found the game initially frustrating. However, the problems were not the underlying game but the interface. Information that you need is often hidden and unless you already know where to find it it will be a long time (if ever) before you will discover it. Also, for me, the icons were very cryptic - text would have been better.

The game has a huge amount of depth as you will discover if you watch the developer streams.

It is however a criticism of the interface that you need to watch the Developer Streams.

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:33 am

dejvid2 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:20 am
It is however a criticism of the interface that you need to watch the Developer Streams.
I have to absolutely agree with your point. The game should present (at least to certain extent) all the information itself without any additional videos... I guess that you don't like the hint system describing what particular UI controls do? What would you improve in this regard?

eddieballgame
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Staff Sergeant - StuG IIIF
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:53 am

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by eddieballgame » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:25 am

I concur with Cablenexusom of what this game has to offer the user. The exciting thing for me, per this unique game, is...it is still in its' infancy.
It is a rare thing, indeed, when a new game comes along that is as 'bug free' as this one while offering tremendous support from such a small 'dev' team.
I have played many types of 4X games, some more to my liking than others. I really like this one.

DonCzirr
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by DonCzirr » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:54 am

pavelk wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:27 pm
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Settlers and armies are huge! Way out of proportion
You can easily change it per your liking in Game settings->Player->Unit Size


Pavel

Can someone please post an image of the "small" units with them displayed near structures on the map?


This viewpoint I share with OP and it has caused me to hold off on purchasing the game - since for me, it breaks all immersion. I'd rather have well done flat counters or AGEOD unit stands than giant gawky units towering over structures.


Optimally, for a game like his, the units would have multiple figures on a smaller scale giving the impression of a unit rather than an individual "giant".

See Hexwar's Rome game for an example.

https://www.hexwar.com/downloads/ancient-battle-rome/


They didn't do a lot of things right on that game but unit graphics were handled well.
Man schlägt jemanden mit der Faust und nicht mit gespreizten Fingern !

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100032812112896

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:34 pm

DonCzirr wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:54 am
Can someone please post an image of the "small" units with them displayed near structures on the map?
Hi DonCzirr,
this is the smallest size of units right now
Image
If you prefer even a smaller one it is 5 seconds change in the mod file.

DonCzirr
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Staff Sergeant - Kavallerie
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by DonCzirr » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:30 pm

That's not too bad. thanks


Any chance in the future of an option for either flat counters (i.e. classic board war games) , AGEOD type vertical or multiple figures displayed in a more "unit" like display ?
Man schlägt jemanden mit der Faust und nicht mit gespreizten Fingern !

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100032812112896

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:53 pm

I am not sure if you are aware of so called "top view" so you can play the game in "2D" view. It is not just an overview but fully featured view in which you can play the game without even going to the 3D view at all.
Image

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:19 am

dejvid2 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:20 am
I too found the game initially frustrating. However, the problems were not the underlying game but the interface.
Hi again dejvid2,
would you please help us with this issue and give us as detailed feedback about what you don't like as possible. We might run another "iteration" on UI and try to address these things.
Thank you
Pavel

uncajerf
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:14 am

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by uncajerf » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:32 am

pavelk wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:27 pm
kool_kat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:58 am
Graphics are not crisp and sharp.
Here we have to humbly confess that this is a valid point. The 3D models in Aggressors cannot be compared to models in AAA games produced by big studios. You are definitely right about this.
Note, however, that neither did you pay $60, $70, or even $100 or more for a so-called "Deluxe" product from an AAA studio with dozens of employees (Aggressors has two). IMO you can't expect the same kind of 'prettified' game for less than half the price. Did you get value for your money? Well, that's a matter of opinion; I certainly believe I did.

Cheers!


JRR
uncajerf

"Artillery adds dignity to what otherwise would be a vulgar brawl." -Frederick the Great

dejvid2
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Senior Corporal - Ju 87G
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:50 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by dejvid2 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm

pavelk wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:19 am
dejvid2 wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:20 am
I too found the game initially frustrating. However, the problems were not the underlying game but the interface.
Hi again dejvid2,
would you please help us with this issue and give us as detailed feedback about what you don't like as possible. We might run another "iteration" on UI and try to address these things.
Thank you
Pavel
In general the game relies on small windows that have limited information that means the player has to click on the right place to get more detailed information.
I wouldn't want the game to go to the other extreme just for it to move to a better balance.

Example
It took me a long time to work out how to add the ability to build a new unit type to a city.
I knew that was possible (from playing the tutorial) but the icon didn't remotely, to me, relevant. (Relying too much on icons means that there always going to be people you don't "get" a particular icon).
For cities I would prefer a much larger window with lots of information including the units it currently can build and a list of those unit types that could be added.
I am still trying to find where it tells you what unit/improvement is currently being built. It shows how many turns it will be before it finishes with the number of hammers
but I can't find anywhere where it states that.

I now realize a lot of info is available with F7. Not knowing that made the game quite hard to figure out at the beginning. My assumption was that keyboard shortcuts was for hard core gamers
and not something I need worry about.

I suspect that different people will prefer different levels of info but it also seems to me likely that those who offer themselves as Beta testers have played lots more games and so are more familiar with
various conventions and icons.

I can give further examples but I want to check whether the info is really not available or just it isn't obvious to me where to look (as was the case with the diplomatic relations of rival powers in the
Diplomacy dialog.

Thanks for being so open to suggestions,

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:50 am

dejvid2 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm
It took me a long time to work out how to add the ability to build a new unit type to a city.
I knew that was possible (from playing the tutorial) but the icon didn't remotely, to me, relevant. (Relying too much on icons means that there always going to be people you don't "get" a particular icon).
That is definitely true. It is a bit late to change all icons to the textual information though. We can change the "change specialization" action icon, the question is what would be a more clear one?
dejvid2 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm
For cities I would prefer a much larger window with lots of information including the units it currently can build and a list of those unit types that could be added.
You are pretty much talking about a city view like there is for Civilization, correct?
dejvid2 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm
I am still trying to find where it tells you what unit/improvement is currently being built. It shows how many turns it will be before it finishes with the number of hammers but I can't find anywhere where it states that.
That is a good point. The information is there but only when you have "build panel" turned on. I explained it here. The video is already pointing to the part about this topic. I will also add this information to the hammers' tooltip.
dejvid2 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm
I now realize a lot of info is available with F7. Not knowing that made the game quite hard to figure out at the beginning. My assumption was that keyboard shortcuts was for hard core gamers and not something I need worry about.
You can actually get to that screen by just mouse click on 3D model in the lower right corner (the unit menu). It is also described in the hint for that panel that the mouse click brings you there.

Again - if you have any tips what to improve, please share it with us.
Thank you
Pavel

Morbio
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: Wokingham, UK

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by Morbio » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:56 am

pavelk wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:50 am
dejvid2 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:40 pm
I am still trying to find where it tells you what unit/improvement is currently being built. It shows how many turns it will be before it finishes with the number of hammers but I can't find anywhere where it states that.
That is a good point. The information is there but only when you have "build panel" turned on. I explained it here. The video is already pointing to the part about this topic. I will also add this information to the hammers' tooltip.
Please forgive me if I get this wrong as I'm writing this during my lunch at work, but isn't that information available from the round icon on the side of the on 3D model in the lower right corner (the unit menu)? I think a red background informs that the item is being built and a mouse over gives more information regarding status?

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:05 pm

Morbio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:56 am
Please forgive me if I get this wrong as I'm writing this during my lunch at work, but isn't that information available from the round icon on the side of the on 3D model in the lower right corner (the unit menu)? I think a red background informs that the item is being built and a mouse over gives more information regarding status?
In the lower right corner is the size of the city/resource.
There is an indicator telling you how many turns it will take to finish (those hammers in the top left corner) but it doesnt tell you what are the ongoing works (what improvement, etc).

From the next update on, it will tell you the precise information - what is currently built/repaired/recruited and how long will it take

Morbio
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Brigadier-General - 8.8 cm Pak 43/41
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: Wokingham, UK

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by Morbio » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:26 pm

pavelk wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:05 pm
Morbio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:56 am
Please forgive me if I get this wrong as I'm writing this during my lunch at work, but isn't that information available from the round icon on the side of the on 3D model in the lower right corner (the unit menu)? I think a red background informs that the item is being built and a mouse over gives more information regarding status?
In the lower right corner is the size of the city/resource.
There is an indicator telling you how many turns it will take to finish (those hammers in the top left corner) but it doesnt tell you what are the ongoing works (what improvement, etc).

From the next update on, it will tell you the precise information - what is currently built/repaired/recruited and how long will it take
Maybe I was thinking about unit improvement/training... I'm sure one of the circles was red because it was in progress! Maybe it's just my memory failing...

pavelk
Kubat Software
Kubat Software
Posts: 2435
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 4:27 pm

Re: Disappointing Game - Regret My Purchase

Post by pavelk » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:34 pm

Morbio wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:26 pm
Maybe I was thinking about unit improvement/training... I'm sure one of the circles was red because it was in progress! Maybe it's just my memory failing...
Ahh right, I know what you mean. The improvement which is currently in built is grayed out (in the improvement panel in the left part of the unit menu). That is absolutely correct and it has been there for a long time. Dejvid2 was refering to a clear textual information of what is going on in that city. If the city builds and improvement, you can find it like that but if a city is repaired or recruits another unit, there was no indicator so far telling you exactly what is happening (except for the build panel, which might not be always turned on).

Post Reply

Return to “Aggressors: Ancient Rome”