Sid Meier's Beyond Earth - Alpha Centauri 2?!

Sovereignty is changing its game engine, so it hasn’t gotten a patch since July 4th. The new engine is supposed to get rolled out soonish, and they said they’d start updating the new features and content after that.

Thanks for that. Guess I won’t be starting a new campaign.

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about the “2.0 free patch”. Is that officially dead, now?

Yeah, been wondering this myself. No one is talking about it, did it happen awhile ago and I never followed up or is it still coming? I would have thought something like that would have happened alongside the expansion?

Apparently Polygon made the 2.0 patch up, or at least made an assumption that wasn’t true. Here is what a mod over at the 2K forums posted…

If you base your expectations of what’s going to be in the patch on the Polygon article, which doesn’t state things as speculation but as definitely confirmed, you’re liable to have unrealistic expectations.

Seriously, the Polygon article is based on a GDC talk, and we can now see that talk for ourselves, and significant bits don’t match. That’s what people are annoyed about here. Including me, I should add. Have you watched the talk and compared it to the Polygon write-up? Major patch in coming months (which ‘around the release of Bert’ wouldn’t satisfy anyway) fixing loads of failing they identified in the development… nope. Major patch ‘soon’ revising the Wonders and fixing a few other bits (which we’ve now had), that’s what they mention.

If AI diplomacy is so bad as you note (and I agree it oftentimes is), then tricking the AI into doing stupid things won’t be based upon “superior” skills, would it? :)

This system does the opposite. It forces me, the player, to do the AI’s bidding. That’s never a good thing.

You assert without argument or evidence. Why is it bad for an AI to force you to do its bidding? After all, that’s what you are trying to do to the AI. Seems you want all of the advantages but none of the disadvantages of a diplomacy system. That seems kind of “have it all” on your part.

Edit: Plus, you seem to be ignoring the basic criticism that most game AI’s suck at diplomacy when it comes to dealing with one another, (I saw nothing in Beyond Earth to challenge that) so it puts the player into states of war for essentially random reasons.

That’s part of the game. If it’s decisions are basically random, then so its decision to ally with you. You want to take advantage of that, but don’t want any of the disadvantages. Surely your “superior” skill can deal with that, right?

I do agree on one point. You should be able to create “defensive” alliances, which only come into play if your or your ally is attacked. That would be much more reasonable that being forced into a war because the single city Aztec empires declare war on the largest empire and drag you into it.

Edit 2: How is this not dumb?

You still haven’t proven it is “dumb”. The fact that you don’t like it doesn’t make it “dumb”.

Those aren’t reasons why, those are excuses for why you don’t like it :) I’m certain the Germans were hoping the English and French would not respond when it invaded Poland to start WW2. The invasion meant they “jumped in”. And many Germans were worried about the western frontier if the French/British attacked before they could redeploy their forces. That alliance was pretty inconvenient for them (on paper anway :) ). That’s always been the danger of alliances through history, dragging you into wars you are not prepared for. Look at the Russian Empire in WW1. They were clearly not ready for war but the Austrian invasion of Serbia brought them in.

Given that Civ has modeled war weariness for several versions now, forcing you into wars would be a really bad mechanic. And it’s not really a quantifiable cost of creating an alliance to begin with. Not forcing you into a war, in the Civ games, has been a great system.

I agree that’s an issue. The real problem is the AI and the “reasons” it goes to war. But an alliance that doesn’t mean anything isn’t really an alliance. If you can just abandon an ally because you aren’t ready, or are worried about your frontier, that’s just meaningless. They should get rid of alliances or there should be some signficant penalty (nor sure what right now) for not backing your alliance. What you all want aren’t really alliances. It’s something more like FWB :)

Gamespot really liked it and gave it a 9.

And it seems to be doing pretty well on Metacritic with an 81. Including a 95 from GamingTrend, and 90s from Game Informer and Gaming Nexus.

I always liked the way for instance Shogun 2 handles alliances and wars: You have the choice to break the alliance and not go to war, but you get a significant diplomatic and honor penalty since you didn’t honor your agreement.

Of course, IIRC alliances are more or less only defensive – you can “ask your allies to help” but they don’t get much if any penalty for refusing if you’re the aggressor. You don’t ever get pulled into an offensive war because why would any nation, planet, empire, faction, or confederacy ever sign a treaty that says, “Oh yeah, if you declare war on someone without asking us, we’ll totally back you up.”

After a couple of playthroughs, I’m sorry to say I’m pretty much done with this for a while. I initially liked the novelty of the new additions (aquatic cities, hybrid affinities, artifacts, the new diplomacy system), but it soon began to feel just as tedious as the vanilla. The game’s systems still feel both unnecessarily complicated and strangely disconnected. There’s still no real internal logic. After the first few turns, my decisions and their consequences start to feel increasingly inconsequential.

I’m also baffled at how they seem to have undermined some of the new features. Moving Aquatic cities seems cool until you realize that it most often makes more sense to buy tiles with plentiful energy than move cities around using scarce production. I like the new political capital point trade and barter system in theory, but in practice I usually end up tuning it out, accepting just enough early deals to pick and level four good personality traits. After that, I usually only make deals as a guilty afterthought. (“Oh, I guess I should be spending all these stupid points.”) But I can’t think of a single occasion where a given political deal made an appreciable difference in the game.

I also think the AI still doesn’t know how to use some of game’s mechanics. In my last game, Space Korea beat me to an enviable aquatic city site early on, which seemed smart. But by late game, I noticed they still hadn’t mined the 9X Floatstone and 8X Firaxis deposits or the oil and geothermal within easy reach. Another AI left an unexplored ruin two hexes from its capital for most of the game.

I really hoped they could turn this one around – though that was probably too optimistic. I’m hanging onto the (vain) hope that this can be patched or modded into something better. But I’m not holding my breath.

Enemies have always been dumb about exploiting terrain and resources in this game (and also in V). I guess their handicaps are so great they don’t feel the need to waste time on it :) But it really does boggle the mind when you take over a capital late in the game and none of the resources are developed.

So I’m guessing that this game never really got any better? Just saw it mentioned on the new AoW game thread and realized that I had completely forgotten that this game even existed.

I’m sure Firaxis is trying to do the same.

A year back I was going to pick up Rising Tide expansion, but it never dropped lower than 50%, and I gave up waiting.

complete pack is on sale now. Worth it? I am a casual Civ player…

No. Just no.

It’s not worth it.

This still is worth it:

I should probably give some context why I dislike Beyond Earth:

  1. The indigenous planet’s race is pretty lacklustre. Early game threat, yes. But it doesn’t take long to be better, stronger than they could ever hope. Barbarians in Civ with a lick of paint and not always hostile.

  2. Diplomacy is shit. Too many times I’m taken to leader screens, particularly to ask if I want to trade diplomatic capital. It takes me away from the game and I honestly have no interest. How I wish 4X games just had a “do no disturb” setting when it came to diplomacy.

  3. Civilization health replaced happiness in Civ V. Health is a little more harder to develop leading to a number of small cities early on before key advances finally unshackle the engine of city growth and civilization on the planet can flourish.

  4. The tech tree, if you could call it that, is a mess.

  5. Trade routes everywhere. So much trade, so little time. Pointless busywork in between managing them all. Civ V had a cap based on tech, Civ VI is capped based on commercial districts. Beyond Earth, trade routes are based on population size if I recall, so it allows for a lot of trade which leads to too much busy work.

  6. End game is boring. It is obvious when I’ve won, yet I have to mindless press end turn for the actual victory to finally trigger because there’s a turn delay for the end sequence to finish, or some other condition to meet that is pretty lacklustre.

Ultimately, the game looked good on paper, but it didn’t really deliver an engaging experience.

I think even worse, Health is basically ignorable. Just keep adding new cities anyway.

It’s a real shame. It’s like they did all the hard software engineering and graphical work, and then dropped the ball on theme, engagement, and good mechanics.

BE is a terrible game devoid of interesting and complex choices. The marketing suggestions that it was the successor to Alpha Centauri was an insult given how little personality the various factions have. The Health mechanic is just about outright broken. Firaxis has made some mis-steps with the Civ games they released but BE is by far the worst. It is the Rocky V of the series.