Solaris: Browser-based, free, space, abstract, slow 4X (turn based game starting soon)

Solaris is better than it should be.

Its a “long time per tick”, browser based, space 4X game. I play about twice per day, usually for aprox 10 mins each session. Colonize systems, set research priorities, build ships, scan new systems, launch carriers, take over new systems, etc. Versus other humans. Free (you can choose to buy a portrait for your avatar). Default speed is 10 hours per production cycle, so being able to log in and spend those resources aprox every 10 hours is a good thing (aka twice per day). Games take a few weeks to finish.

Its abstract, mostly circles for systems and arrows for carriers with lines for waypoints. This is not MOO or GalCiv. :-)

I like the async, always-on component. I like the scale, some of the galaxies can get pretty large. I like the simplicity, which allows me to focus on strategy and relations (chat is fairly active each game, with a few messages per day).

A story and a pic in the details, for those that are curious

Mr Pink

Playing a Dark Galaxy game, where you need to explore to see stars and opponents (an optional mode). 8 players total, all more experienced than I. My sector is a nice collection of stars, I am investing in economy to build up cash to then invest more in science and production. OH NO, see that pink circle to the north? An opposing player. I am sending a carrier from my central star, filling it with 166 attack ships (vs his 30), and ordering it to head that way. I assigned a specialist that will conceal the specific number of ships in that carrier group, so my opponent will see my ship coming but not know how strong it is. My ship arrives in 10 (real) hours. I do not know what Mr Pink’s next move is, but if he comes for my star I will be ready.

Free to join. Play an orange New Player Game.

I also have one more slot open in this learning game. Three other slots filled. Jump in if you are interested. The AI takes over if you AFK, so zero commitment. PM me for the password.

We can start larger QT3 games if this catches on.

You have my interest sir, username Janster

Password sent via DM

Looks cool. I joined another beginner game.
I’d be up for joining other games as the time commitment seems pretty minimal.

Yeah I might check this out tomorrow. I enjoyed whatever the modern successor to VGA Planets is called, but the obtuse interface turned me right off. Solaris looks very promising.

I will give people time to get used to it, and will ask here in one week how many people want in on the first Qt3 game. :-)

Lead developer here. I’m so glad you found this game and are enjoying it so far!

Join us on Discord, we’re always happy to welcome new players to the community.

See you there.

Pretty enjoyable so far. It’s on the simpler side, but I guess the real meat of the game is in the diplomacy. I appreciate the clean and colourful interface, it’s much better than most games like this I’ve played.

I joined a new player game this morning and was the last to join so it started immediately. I have skimmed the manual but not really absorbed it fully so I don’t really know what I’m doing yet. I spent all my cash on various bits and pieces, then sent some carriers off to conquer new worlds. A few hours later a neighbour sent a fleet to one of my newly-conquered worlds but we kicked his arse pretty easily. I’m sending more ships now in case he tries again, and if he doesn’t, I might attack him back. :)

Yeah I can see myself playing this for a while for sure.

@Hyperi0n welcome to QT3! I joined the Discord server today, nice to see some lively discussion about the game and there are more players than I was expecting too. :)

Edit: How do I get more tickets to buy specialists?

You gain 1 specialist token per level of your Specialist tech every Production cycle.

Thank you!

I will tinker with it and if I get into it would like to get into a qt3 game.

Can you change the course of a carrier after it has launched, and for example turn it back around to where it came from? I have scuttled carriers in order to get them to stop moving to a target, but that is not the best use of troops. :-)

I don’t think so, or at least I don’t know how to do it.

Well I just won the game I was in, but it was a hollow victory as it was awarded for the other players being kicked due to inactivity. Shame; I was amassing a pretty impressive armada to send to my hostile neighbour.

Oh well. Time to scan the new games list!

My first game is down to 2 humans, as the other two inactivated. The other guy has a much weaker economy than me, but a stronger industrial base. He is also accruing a research advantage. I am about to shift over however, so it will be fun to see if I can catch up before he realizes he’s turtling too much.

@milspec, are you the one with a rank of 8 in that game you sent me the password for?

Oh yeah, that’s something I hated - having perfect intel on my opponents. Next game I join will be with the ultra dark mode enabled.

Yes I am “Mohl”. That game starts well, four active players, and looks like a fight might break out soon.

So I’m in my own noob game right now. What exactly should I be doing? I’ve expanded into the center, I’ve gotten economy in the places where economy is cheap, industry where industry is cheap and research where research is cheap. I’ve built carriers and sent them towards the center where everyone’s borders meet. I messaged one guy and told him that I wouldn’t attack him if he doesn’t attack me lol.
Currently researching terraforming but that’s what it was set to from the beginning. What else should I be doing? There’s a great Youtube tutorial on the website but the guy who made it never made any others so I really only learned the basic starting information from that.

I think milspec is the only one with much experience on here. There seems to be a lot of options at play, and I’m slowly learning what to do and not to do.

From a fellow newb, consider your specialists very carefully. They seem to be one of scarcest resources in the early game at least. Terraforming is good, but I usually switch to whatever tech I get the first boost in.

Like any MP game, diplomacy is absolutely critical. I suck at that, so I usually lose. After diplomacy, it comes down to tactics and trying to get the enemy to fight you on your ground. Defenders get a +1 to weapons, and when you both have 1 level, that doubles your firepower. Speed specialists can get you to the star before the enemy so you’ll get the defensive bonus. Specialists can give your fleet a boost on weapons, which is again critical in the early game.

I certainly don’t know of any unbeatable strategies yet, and just try to play off the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents.

I’d like to propose a team game as well as a FFA for our first round of QT3 games.

I finished 2 games and am in 2 more, so still learning. Your initial actions sound correct. The win condition is control of planets. You need to decide who you will start to take them from.

The list of techs is here, read the full wiki (if you have not).

I think Economy is really important. It drives everything else. Invest in it heavily for a while. Try and centralize Production as much as reasonable. Yes, cheap production is enticing, but it will take time to “harvest” those ships and bring them someplace more useful. I get minor systems up to maybe 2 or 3 Production in early game, and then try to spend the rest on the central (or border) planets. Its not clear to me if you inherit the values of a system you take over, so be careful not to over-invent in a border planet that you may lose.

Science is also important. Uh oh, they all are. :-) I like Weapons, Scanning, Hyperdrive and Banking. I am not sure there is an ideal build order.

Most important decision: who will you attack to get more planets? Start to probe them now. See how they react. Everyone is stretched too thin, so also think about your own defense. Prepare to lose border systems, but keep a strong fleet in the middle to react. Don’t spread your forces too thin.

If you are not attacking, then your opponent is building. If you are attacking, they are reacting to you. I am using these initial games to learn how to attack effectively.

I really like the open problem space of this game, there are hard decisions to make, and they are quick to start but slow to finish, so there is a lot of delicious agonizing over what to do. :-)

We can start a Qt3 game this weekend.