Dominions 6, the history/mythology/pulp fiction/dark fantasy Turn based Strategy game

Honestly, I don’t like to play Dominions without the Dominions Inspector. So, waiting is fine.

And it’s not like the MP community is going anywhere in the next few months. Hopefully, I will be able to catch a game here just when the sale starts.

The game has now a more acceptable price.

Well, I for one am going to be completely irresponsible, and go ahead and buy it. :p

Good for you! It looks great to me from my limited play time.

As a side note, it looks like the manual is very nicely done. They even kept a lot of my old text, but thoroughly updated it where necessary.

If there is one design group I don’t hesitate to support from day 1 of a release, it’s Illwinter. It was interesting to read the ‘history of Dominions’ right at the start of the manual. I played them all, most at release. (the first one I played a lot, but I wasn’t aware of it until sometime after it was released…back then, it wasn’t so easy to be aware of obscure games) What a long, strange trip.

I’m looking forward to it.

Also it was nice to see another vote for Red Strike in the quarterlies. I think that managed to get 3 votes. :)

Please post impressions on what they have done to reduce micromanagement. Which I believe they said they did.

That is always fun to read, especially about the other games they’ve worked on that haven’t been released. It is cool that they keep going back to some of those games to do more work, like the Space one and Trade & Taint.

The vanilla sprite update update for Dom6 isn’t out yet, but the author said it is close to being complete. I find it helps with some of the blocky sprites that haven’t been updated in 15 years.

Those look sharp. Everything I would wish for, really. Thanks for the heads up.

My brain thought you were talking about a new soda flavor for a second.

After a pair of hours of tests… the AI seems exactly as bad as before, I guess it had small improvements here and there, but in core competencies like army evaluation is as awful as ever:

Why is it suiciding his armies in this way? I don’t know!
Mind you, my Pythium army has been camping in that province for the last 30 turns. An I’m not using blesses, magic, scripted orders, anything!

I’ve got both 3 and 5 in my library. I’ve always liked the idea of Dominions, but the steep learning curve was always too much for me to get past (speaking of WitP, heh). Will the player aids mentioned upthread help me with 5 if I reinstall it, or has too much changed?

I really can’t see buying this just yet with the other two sitting mostly unplayed.

The player guide should serve you well.

I understand why AI is so difficult in many cases, but this seems like low-hanging fruit. Surely the AI should be doing some sort of strength calculation before deciding to attack or not (not even talking about whether it should in a strategic sense). Seems like it should be able to calculate that it’s outmatched and not launch an attack with the forces it has.

Gah, I was gonna hold out for a sale, but it’s now 15% off. My wallet blames all of you guys!

Look forward to giving it a go. As I’ve said before, I don’t mind if the AI sucks, because I suck worse.

Vanilla Zero! Brand new flavor that tastes just like you are drinking vanilla extract but only costs 10x as much and ZERO CALORIES. I can sell you a case for the low low price of $124.99, 15% off!

In the past it was stated that it wasn’t a priority because the developer in charge of code would prefer to do other things, but after 3 games this excuse is starting to wear a bit thin especially since this iteration was supposed to include improvements. Same with UI smoothing and micromanagement reduction.

Yeah, I hear you. I understand this isn’t their day job and all, but on the other hand it’s still a commercial product that they’re charging ~$40 for. By the sixth iteration I don’t think something like that is too much to ask for.

“It’s just a hobby” works better for when it’s a free mod vs. a product that they’re charging money for.

I love how they keep adding to the history. It’s like a little continuing epic of the history of Dominions, as opposed to the history of the world of Dominions.

As a side note, it was a little bit of an effort to get them to write the first one. Kind of had to coax them into doing it, back at the time of the Dominions 3 “spiral-bound manual.” I really wanted their epic manual to open with an epic of the development of the game.

To be honest, I’m not sure how this game could get less micromanagey. The basic, fundamental design philosophy is that details matter, but only certain ones. I feel like any other game developer would take this series in very predictable ways, like fortresses would get more detailed from iteration to iteration. Maybe upgrades to your labs? Or armories to give you better weapons, units, or something. But in Dominions, they are constantly playing with the details of the world that make it more internally consistent to them, or give it greater verisimilitude, without necessarily progressively complicating the game.

For example, of all the things that they added to the game this time, they decided to differentiate between mounted units which are killed, and mounted units in which only the mount is killed. So for your cavalry units, you will get reports like, “two units who lost their mounts have died or deserted on the way.” I mean, of all the things. I literally have hundreds of cavalry running around. Is this information necessary? No. And absolutely yes.

Because it creates a world in which almost anything you can imagine might happen, and therefore anything you can think of might matter. So piercing weapons are better against armor, and units with pikes are better against cavalry and also large units, but also units with Quickness age twice as fast. WTF?? They’re like hummingbirds, I guess. It’s the metabolism. Geez, I dunno, but I love it. I wrote this a while back and my feelings haven’t changed.

But the micromanagement remains, and I can’t imagine how you’d get rid of it. You could get ChatGPT to assist. Tell it “build units at my outlying forts that are effective against fliers, and then eventually bring them to my central forts when I am ready to attack Caelum,” but the game doesn’t play like that: that’s Total War: Dominions. Instead, Dominions is about figuring out what you can even do. Maybe you don’t have a good way of fighting flying units!

Even with an improved interface (which I think is what they are trying to do now), there are limitations. Local conditions like supply, dominion, population, magic sites, and the location and fate of certain units or conditions makes a huge difference.

For example, I was just trying out Nidavangr, because I love seeing new nations, and who doesn’t like some new animistic, death-cult Vikings. But they are primarily Water and Nature magic. So I was going along, doing my thing, when some kind of secret mage of a mysterious order showed up in a province, who had Astral magic. So this and that happened, and I got him to cast Acashic Knowledge on a few sites, and found an Academy of Magic, which suddenly let me recruit these awesome Death/Astral mages, and because I had been researching Conjuration, I can unexpectedly now summon Ether Warriors and Mound Fiends. Because a mysterious wizard showed up and randomly found a secret magic academy.

The game IS wizardry.

EDIT: That’s not to say that I don’t understand the desire to experience the game without having to constantly click on this province and that province and make sure you aren’t exceeding the supply limit here, and that you haven’t recruited too many units for this commander to lead. It definitely can get tedious. I actually think this is a function of the magic-to-melee balance to some extent. I feel like the relative scarcity of resources in Dom2 made for endgames with fewer units, which changed drastically in Dom3 with more room/ability to create huge, varied armies, which tended to overwhelm the game’s UI.

Definitely not an excuse. More of a philosophical position. “This is our game, and we hope you enjoy it. It is what it is.” Very much their right to make the game as they wish, and very much the right of people not to buy it.

My uninformed take as I am not a programmer, but I suspect that the only way to really make this accessible in the same way that, say, Old World is, would be to do a bottom-up re-write, for which the team would have to expand. And that isn’t going to happen. So we are where we are.