Thanks for the mentions of Stars in Shadow, I’m going to check it out. I actually picked it up a while back, but honestly it kind of got lost in the backlog.
Yeah, EU4 totally spoiled me in this regard too. It is possible to build trust with the AI.
I think this is easily remedied. If you backstab an ally, no other AI player will ally with you for the rest of the game, because you’re untrustworthy. Give the player freedom to act, and pay the consequences for their actions.
I REALLY need to learn EU one day. Its just so complex, I bounce off of it every time.
Apologies for thread derails, but if you do try to learn EU4 again, use the thread here as a sounding board! There’s a bunch of dedicated/experienced EU4 players here that will be more than happy to help ease you along.
Ill do that. I wish they had an EU Lite that would let you play the real basic parts and then add in complexity later. I still cannot really even grasp how to “WIN” a game lol
Sorry to bump the Endless Space 2 thread with this. Do we not have a Stars in Shadow thread?
In any case, I played a few games of it over the weekend. Not full games, mostly just starting new games and playing around for a bit. I found the Diplomacy in this title to suffer the same faults as I was complaining about, so I was wondering if I was doing something wrong.
I met a couple nearby aliens: the race of merchants and an aggressive bear looking guy. The bears loved me because of my military, the traders because we entered into several treaties which they initiated. I monitored my relations with them both, I agreed to help them whenever asked (money for shortages, food during famine, etc).
Right after signing a research agreement with the merchants, they declared war. I had just looked the turn before, and our relations were through the roof, just filled with a bunch of positive modifiers. We had trade and research agreements making us both some bank. I was giving them food. But WAR. Then, of course, once they banged up my fleet, the other guys came and attacked me because they now had a better military than me. So much for that.
Started up a new game. Ran into a neighbor (the bug guys that are good at science) and was getting along nicely. Same thing, we had a research agreement and a few other things going. Relations were pegged, no negative modifiers. One turn they ask if I’ll sign the treaty that allow the use of my space ports to refuel, which I accept. The next turn they declare war on me. Okay.
Turns out there was one little problem with their plan, though. Since they declared war, it broke our treaties and they could no longer use my planets to refuel. That also meant that all my planets were out of range of their fleets (and vice versa). Most boring war ever.
Is this another 4X I can toss on the garbage heap of terrible diplomacy? There is seriously no point in spending all the development time on a subsystem like Diplomacy if it behaves in this way. If every nation with great relations is going to attack me, there’s no point in me wasting any effort in maintaining good relations, they’re just guaranteed war targets. If that’s the way it’s going to be, I’d rather just play more of a wargame like Gladius.
There’s a beta patch (a little unstable) that is improving the diplomacy of SiS considerably. You can access it on steam via the password ‘alphatesting’.
I’ll give that a shot, thanks!
The beta patch has some sluggish turn times for me (not unexpected, I know it’s a beta branch) but so far in my one game, no more crazypants diplomacy. Hope it holds up! Thanks again for pointing out the branch.
Now, I shall jettison myself from the Endless Space 2 thread and stop the constant derails, just felt that I should at least post a followup to yesterday’s whine.
There are some other issues in the beta branch. You should submit logs and report bugs if (when) you find them!
Actually, if you have example games with sluggish turn times, the devs might be interested. They’re pretty active on both steam and their own forums (or at least, responsive to the fairly low volume of chat that’s there).
Is the Workshop not working correctly right now, or is there really not a single mod available for Endless Space 2? Was hoping to find something that might change things up enough for me to be able to get into this game, but it’s coming up completely empty.
Workshop working for me. I’ve no mod suggestions though.
Restarting Steam seems to have done the trick. No idea what was going on there, haven’t had that problem before. The weird thing is that it was only affecting Endless Space 2 as well. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I had just purchased a DLC?!
I saw this. Very excited!
I’ve been forcing myself to play several games of this (as different races) to really get a full experience with the game, after owning it since early access and firing it up for the odd game here and there. I’ve come away with the conclusion that… I just don’t like it much. I don’t hate it, but I don’t care much for it either.
The good parts are the presentation and the different races, they really did a fantastic job there. Each race is lovingly crafted, each with their own playstyles, story, etc. In that regard, it’s the opposite of something like Stellaris where races are randomized and put together via Lego blocks. Narratively in that way, this game is fantastic.
There’s also some features that I want to like but don’t quite work for me. The combat system falls into this category, because in a 4X I think the idea of hands-off battles that you can still influence with the techs you research, how that ties into the ships/fleets you construct, and the playing of Tactics cards sounds exactly what I want in a game like this. I end up just finding it mostly meh, though, and not as engaging or interesting as I hoped it would be.
Influence/diplomacy are kind of in this boat too. I find there to be a lot of interesting concepts at work but they just don’t quite come together and gel in a way that engages me. I find system as a whole is less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately. There’s Influence and diplomatic pressure and actions like diplomatic embraglios, but they never seem to amount to a whole lot and everything can get immediately trumped by simply going to war. I wish going the diplomatic route was more of an option, instead I feel like I have to have a superior military in all situations, in which case I might as well use it to conquer after investing all that tech and industry in building the baddest fleet in the galaxy.
For Heroes, I like the idea but don’t like their implementation. I kind of hate how every hero has skill trees that are pretty evenly split between planetary bonuses and fleet bonuses. I always have the problem while leveling up that I end up with a bunch of filler choices for governors or fleet commanders just to reach the next tier/ring of abilities. I also don’t like how there are no items you can equip the governors with to improve their capabilities, unlike Endless Legend. In EL, I liked getting access to a particular resource and getting the right tech so that I could equip them with items that increased productivity or gold output in the city they were in charge of. Why did Amplitude get rid of that here? Those things combined makes governor heros feel incomplete to me.
Lastly, there’s the things I actively hate. The bugaboo for me is of course the diplo AI, which is a very common complaint I have with the genre so I’m not singling out ES2 here (it’s better than several of its peers, in fact). Still, this is part of the reason the diplo/influence stuff just didn’t quite work out for me. I think with some more attention on the AI, this could be improved.
I really, really hate all the message spam that happens every turn. Every turn, I get bombarded with pointless diplomatic messages from nearly every race in the game. Some of them don’t even make sense. An example from my current game, I’m allied with the Lumaris. We are currently at war with the Horatio, who I am sieging 2 planets simultaneously with a third fleet running around and blowing up their ships as I see them. The Lumaris don’t appear to be assisting in the war effort in any way, but I chalk that up to the fact that the AI isn’t the greatest. That would all be fine, except EVERY DAMN TURN I get yet another stupid message from the Lumaris AI with a “Wounded” mood about how I’m just not helping the war, that this is when allies need to step up and help. The next turn will be a “Distressed” message that they need help (which I’m doing), followed up by another “Wounded” message the next turn. Repeat this ad infinitum.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Horatio also has to send me an insult or dismissive message every turn. The cravers have to message me either turn with either a threat, a demand for tribute, or an angry message because I didn’t pay tribute. This is also in a loop. Add that in with the United Empire doing the same, the Hissho making threats, the Sophons saying hey what’s up, etc. And every message results in a pop-up coming up after my turn has started I’m and already trying to do something. I have to dismiss this message to get back to the action I was trying to complete, but then the 6-7 additional diplomatic messages described above storm through. Then I get notified about 3 quests, whether they be starting, completed, failed, or nearing their end. That’s followed up by Empire A, B, or C might be nearing one of the victory conditions (although they’re obviously nowhere close). I finally filter and sort through all this crap, tell me one planet with an empty queue to build something… then hit End Turn and repeat the process all over again. Argh!
The above would likely be the kind of UI annoyances that I could look past if I were more engaged in the game, but I’m just not. I can get some enjoyment immersing myself in the theme of a particular race and seeing how their unique mechanics work, but nothing else in the game really grabs me. At least not enough to compensate for the aggravations I have. I don’t come back to start a new game thinking “Ahhh, I’m totally going to try this strategy out this time!”, for whatever reason.
Anyway, sorry for the rambling but I’ve pecked away at this game for a while and only in the past month or so have really hunkered down and sunk enough time into it to really inform my opinion. Unfortunately, my feeling about the game ended up being what it was initially: great theme and race design, fantastic presentation and atmosphere, but with a bag of features that don’t come together to form a compelling game. I invested 80 hours or so according to Steam, so at least at this point I feel like I gave it a decent shot. Again, I don’t hate it by any means, but I think the conclusion I’ve come to that it’s just not for me. It’s a shame, because there’s obviously a lot of creativity that the developers showered on this game.
For what it is worth you are not alone. Some games are more than the sum of their systems. Others, like Endless Space 2, are less than the sum of their systems. ES2 has almost every feature I could want from a 4x space game yet none of them are particularly compelling to me.
This is exactly how I felt when I played it at release. I think I enjoyed Endless Space 1 more because ES2 seems to have more that just gets in the way of enjoyment. It sucks that it’s like this because the things it does well it does really well.
I’ve been intending to try it again since there has been many updates since I’ve played, but now I’m not so sure. I have only tried 2 or so races, so there is more to see - but I’m not sure it’s worth it.
That was an excellent write up Kevin
On the messages: there are some special military locations the AI will mark on the map, asking for your help. The AI thinks you aren’t helping because, I guess, you aren’t responding to those markers. I think they are not displayed very obviously, and this is totally undocumented, but that’s why.
On combat, the problem is balance (and AI). They just haven’t put in the work to tune the system.
But yes, there’s a ton of mistakes in the design (a great example are the the diplomatic demands ultimately avoidable via war) and a lot of gameplay totally undermined by balance. Huge shame.