Distant Worlds 2: this time, your space spreadsheet has a 3D engine!

I watched a few Dastactic and @BrianRubin vids on youtube. Honestly, the best way I learned is to just play. After about 20 hours, I feel like I’m getting a handle on this beast of a game.

Thank you for watching my vids, @Crusis!

And yeah, it’s so much better than it was at launch. A few more races and playable pirates and it’ll surpass even Universe in options.

What worked for me, with Universe, was to automate everything and then just control one ship manually, and watch the AI as it went. I’d then “promote” myself to more ships as I got more comfortable, finally taking over many things that the AI would advise me on.

Thanks, all.

Found it:

And I realize I’d even replied to it when he first posted.


Here it is as a Steam guide:

And here is a mod I consider essential - makes the map much easier to read IMO. I have another mod I’m working on for luxury resource scarcity (too abundant as is), but I haven’t got that balanced yet to a degree I’m happy with.

So I’m kinda picking this up and I’m having a real hard time with the wars once your empire gets big. Your fleets mostly just sit around idle or retrofitting ad-infinitum or “loading troops” which apparently takes years even if the planet is completely swarming with troops.

Weirdly the AI doesnt seem to have this issue with me, as they’ll happily invade one of my worlds while my fleets which are way stronger just sit and do… nothing.

This all felt fine until my empire got big and now the AI just seems kind of gridlocked and unable to do anything. Am I missing something? I don’t really want to manually control and refuel 18 fleets.

Edit: I’m playing on easy for a first game and just to be clear I am 100% sure my fleets are set to automated, and they so grossly overpower the enemy that I should be rolling them if my fleets ever left port. In my current war I’ve lost a colony to an enemy with 20k fleet power and I have over 20x that much, their biggest fleet should maybe be somewhat threatening to a defense fleet. And the AI advisor is repeatedly begging me to make peace because I’ve lost a colony and my fleets refuse to invade them or even try to retake the colony I’ve lost.

Anything I’m missing here or is it a Stellaris type issue where the AI just kinda fails once empires hit a certain size?

Thanks for both!

I can’t speak to your game size/hardware, but for anyone wondering why a fully or partly automated fleet isn’t doing what you expect - read this:

In fact, read it even if you think you know how the AI for fleets works. And weapons. And manual ship designs. I learned a lot from this, despite having played this game a ton in the past year.

Thanks! I definitely don’t know much about how the AI or fleets work other than the basics, so I’ll definitely check that out before I play tomorrow.

I can’t believe I missed this after 25+ hours. In the options there’s a drop down for Rendering Format. Putting it in High Dynamic Range Rendering made the game look much better and sharper.

I just changed my too. I wonder if this added after 1.0 release because I wasn’t aware it was an option before.

I think HDR vs standard rendering options were added sometime last year. Pretty sure they weren’t there are release.

But you have to have an HDR-capable monitor for that, right? Those aren’t exactly plentiful or dime-a-dozen.

I don’t think so? I have an HDR monitor, but HDR isn’t turned on. Pretty sure this is just a weirdly named setting.

I was going to make a snarky comment about how that stuff is in the manual, but no one reads manuals anymore, but then I started skimming over the guide, and seeing things I definitely didn’t know, and wondering whether I just didn’t read the manually carefully enough. And while that may still be true, I can confirm that guide has a bunch of stuff that IS NOT in the manual, but that definitely SHOULD BE in the manual.

Thanks for that link, @AK_Icebear! Very helpful, even (especially?) to someone who thought he knew more than he did!

As far as I can tell, the DW2 HDR setting determines whether some of the area effect graphics (e.g. a nebula sphere) render as multiple distinct spheres, or instead as smooth gradient of density within a single sphere (HDR). I don’t think it changes the overall color range at all, it changes how some effects are rendered.

Probably not. HDR has a couple different meanings that get confused: HDR tone mapping (what HDR usually means in games, using a higher range of light values in rendering pipelines and then compressing the output), and wide color gamut displays (10-bits per-color-channel or higher).

I’m not sure if it’s just that the spiders can espionage-farm tech from pirates or the fact that toggling slavery on a population and assimilation maxed alien colony gives you essentially infinite money, or that they have access to Hive Mind which is pretty clearly the best government form, but they seem pretty busted. It’s a single player game and the AI doesn’t seem to abuse these mechanics when playing them, so it’s more of an observation than a complaint.

That guide was helpful @AK_Icebear, I’ve found lots of little ways to improve. I’ve noticed something that bugs me on a pretty consistent basis is that if a fleet has a ship built for it, either as a replacement or as a new addition, the fleet just stops and waits for that new ship to catch up even if it is on the other side of the galaxy. I feel like if 90+% of a fleet is together it should just go ahead and follow your orders and let the other ship catch up later rather than saying it is obeying your orders but just waiting until the ship gets there.

The easiest solution I have found to this is to simply select the errant ship and hand remove it from the fleet, which causes the fleet to resume its duties. Is there any toggle or setting where the AI doesn’t hard force waiting for the new ship to show up? The things often auto-build on the furthest corner of the galaxy and the wait late game can be years, sometimes the new ship won’t even have enough fuel to make it to where the existing fleet is which is pretty tedious.

This is the update you’ve been waiting for.

I have a decent number of hours on it. At least on my 6 core, 16gb system this makes an enormous difference on galaxies of 1000 stars or less - before I’d have very bad lag or stutter from mid game, now that is pushed back to a point where I haven’t had it yet.

Even before that, the game is so incredibly smooth second to second compared to before. Some of the mechanics even work better, because of less bottlenecking apparently. One example is automated ships, like constructors, are much less likely to wait around idle before the AI cycles back to assign them a role. Another that I’ve seen more than before (but not always) is better kiting behavior by ships in combat. Your mileage may vary, but my experience is super positive.

I’m sure there’ll be bugs found in the larger testing group. But this public beta, or when it eventually gets to the main branch, is an excellent time to try or revisit the game. I dare say it’s the most performant 4x I’ve played.

This is the first of a new series of experimental “performance” betas. We’ve been working behind the scenes for months to try to fix the most significant performance issues with Distant Worlds 2, which involved making quite a few low level changes which affected just about every area of the game. You will find that as a result, performance is vastly improved in this new build.
Massive performance improvements in all areas


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maybe this will help someone