Age of Wonders: Planetfall by Triumph Studios

Hmm. Maybe. I do have to say that the game does look better when playing than what you might see in static screenshots. Perhaps that’s the difference?

So one could say that … art is subjective? And @JoshoB might be right, it might be that when you play the game and know what the bits and bops represent it’s a lot more meaningful. But I also felt the picture @Enidigm used to represent Plantefall was maybe the worst one I’d ever seen (and he also picked the best AoW3 looks - which in my opinion is in the green/forest areas, though I hasten to add AoW3 still looks gorgeous to me, no reason to reduce one in order to elevate the other, imo) - it seems low quality somehow, like the settings are lowered from what I’m used to, but I can’t put my finger on it.

I still think my own screenshots have been very representative. Here are some I took recently from three different games.

(Note on this one I used Amazon tech to create several forests for powerful in-game effects)

(Note on this one PyrX gas is slowly filling the game world, waiting for me to ignite it to my Doomsday victory)

Also note on the second two I have the Hex map enabled, which I like the look of, but I have it off in my most recent game - I can’t decide if I like it on or off, so it’s off for now, and that top screen is from the most recent game.

Personally I think it’s gorgeous, and any readability issues (of which I really don’t have any anyway) could be easily resolved by zooming out to the tile view.

Honestly, I suspect a lot of the controversy is just the color palette - I like it, but it definitely isn’t “normal” for a game in this genre.

I think it’s more seeing the forest from the trees vs seeing the trees from the forest. There’s a lot of detail up close, but panned out it looks flatter and less detailed.

Anyway not trying to argue that it’s bad only that anyone thinking it wasn’t as good as AOW 3 wasn’t just being idiosyncratic and subjective. I think Scott’s images above look much better than mine, but then i wasn’t trying to find stuff that looked good; kind of like getting that great landscape shot ahead of you and not that pile of trash just to your right, i was just aiming for an “average” screenshot.

OTOH, that’s from the campaign, and my other side point was that people saying it looked bad might well have only played the campaign so far.

What I really want now are more battle maps, fighting in the same ruins over and over gets real old real quick.

I rarely fight in ruins, so I found this a surprising take.

also surprised at this.

There are many more tactical battlefields than before.

Amd you can make your own battlefields too if so inclined.

Aren’t tactical maps randomly generated?

At least I felt like they were in AoW3. Maybe not specific sites (like farms or dungeons) but most overworld fights had rocks and trees and walls in random places.

No, they most certainly are not. Many times, I have thought, “oh, this map again.” I wish they were random.

I had a few hours to dig into this over the weekend and it’s definitely growing on me. I played the first campaign mission on easy and felt confident enough to start the second on medium. It’s definitely got a “one more turn” addictive quality, but I feel like I’m flailing around. There are way too many systems that aren’t adequately explained (I would have appreciated a manual). There are a ton of icons I don’t understand (there seem to be at least two shield icons). I’m also not loving the tech tree. I’m just randomly researching what’s quickest, and I get the impression I should be specializing in advancing up specific paths. I’ll keep at it for a whileand I’ll see if the wiki is any more fleshed out

To respond to myself, it looks like the only way you can get that info is by clicking on the center pin for a sector. It will have a message on the right side in the sector description that says it can’t be prospected, if that’s the case. No indication, as long as you are Dvar, means it can be, as far as I can tell.

So… it’s a way. Not necessarily a good way. It’d be nice if it were like how when you select a colonizer you get a special overlay icon indicating which sectors can be colonized. Select a prospector, and you get a special overlay icon indicating which sectors can be prospected. I may send in that suggestion.

Regardless, I’m at 30 hours with this now, after having owned it less than a week, and a full work week at that. That’s crazy for me. And put me in the camp of “this is the most gorgeous game in its genre”, especially at ultra-wide resolutions so you can fit even more of the pastel panoply on screen at once.

I must have fought on this map a dozen times.

Yeah, add me into the camp of wanting more tactical maps. I had the same gripe with AoW3. I was truly tired of the farmland map and the fire hazard map playing that game.

I’ve been flip flopping a bit between campaign and random map games. Campaign because I wanted to try and get a bit of an understanding behind the factions/secret tech and how the leaders sorta are. Something I never really achieved with AoW3 because the base game campaign was pretty shit. Again, the campaign in Planetfall I’m finding lacking. Too many quests for a start. And while it tries to be open world, it ends up being more like five different hands pulling me in different directions. I’d be much happier if Triumph did a campaign that was significantly shorter, something composing a couple of key battles and a smaller number of objectives to complete.

I think I’ll go back to random map again, but I know when I meet some new leader, I’ll wonder what their story might’ve been.

They’re already working on something.

Looks like an energy sector?

Yeah sure, more is fun.

Great thing is that this is “pure content” and therefore, I THINKrelatively easy to add because it’s not a new mechanic, race, or damage channel.

For what it is worth, I must be creeping up onto 400 hrs now, and I am not tired of the maps.

Also, in AoW3 imho the big sinner in this regard was the repeated city maps.

City maps are justified cause you probably want to remember how your defenses will look when you decide on city defences. And you wouldn’t want any real cover in front of your gates. I think city maps are just plains with the wall, right?

But I’m surprised by the fact that those rocks and trees and walls aren’t random.

Cause they do look random.

I don’t have any need/desire for new tactical maps. I mean if they throw them in, sure, why not, but even if they double the number it’s going to go right back to “I’ve played these maps a dozen times” after another couple games given the number of battles.

Even if a map layout is the same, the force composition of each side isn’t, and that changes it up more than moving around cover locations.

Interesting how perspective differs.

The campaigns for each race are 2 maps long.

And the campaign is hardly open world, more just having differing quest outcomes and objectives.

Like how in Dvar 2, staying friendly with Claudius Proton leads to one victory condition that wouldn’t be possible if you went to war with him.

And there is replay-ability is the managed randomness of the maps.

I think I get what you mean though with how you are, arguably (as in I think I understand what you mean, not that I necessarily agree with it), basically given information overload fairly early on in each map.

Dvar 2 is an interesting example here, as you get told to find Rassnet and also explore and annex a cosmite heavy site very early on.

I full support each word in this sentiment. Nailed it better than I could have.

I have this fond hope that Triumph will do something like a tactical battles creation competition, the winner to get free dlc or posters or something.

I also think the time is perfect* for creating a tactical battles only arena mode, wrapped up in a tournament format.

Basically how Total War did most of it’s multiplayer, where you paid fixed costs for an army and then launched into a battle.

But with a singleplayer tournament skin, so you start with a small army, get experience etc, and then progress onto bigger battles etc.

And ofcourse a multiplayer component (pay x per unit, pay x per mod, pay x per level of unit)

And a last stand mode, where you have your army, and have to fend off waves of enemy units.

Would be quite robust, and a decent dlc imho.

*perfect because they have the know how, the fanbase and the resources to do this. Plus very few games offer entirely alternate game modes via dlc.

By the way, I have to commend Triumph for the SUPERB job they did on the multiplayer front. I posted multiple times in the AOW3 that what killed that game for my gaming group was how obnoxious we found the simultaneous turns to be, in terms of unresponsive UI. Planetfall has completely eliminated that, where the only time I get an unresponsive UI is when a player is deciding whether to manual or auto a battle. And even then, I get big red text informing me the game is waiting on a player decision. I played a game with three human players and it all played and felt great.

But that’s just getting to par with other games. What really impressed me is how the MP games are seamlessly stored online, I’m sure to support PBEM and the like. I was in the middle of an epic seven-army battle with a friend when my internet connection cut out for a minute or so right as we were wrapping it up (and having pulled off a really epic comeback against overwhelming odds). It was a little upsetting thinking we’d have to try to reproduce that battle outcome again, but we were able to log back in to our game on the server and continue the battle right where we left off. Even better, when I re-connected to the battle, it actually played back the battle events for me thus far. That would have been really handy if we had picked it back up a day or a week later instead of immediately afterword.

Anyway, that system is really slick. I’m super impressed with what they’ve done with MP, especially given the deficiencies that drove me batty in AOW3.