The Settlers (TBD)

Impressions! Need details!

First impressions are terrible, I’m afraid. Economy seems to be grossly simplified, the whole territory/resource model seems weird (I’m willing to give this more time to see if it makes sense in the overall context), and yes the game is very geared toward combat, and early. I built an academy (“unlocks research”) hoping this would open up some more buildings, but nope. Pretty much every item is a boost to military units.

At this point I would definitely say play Settlers 7 instead. Or The Colonists, for that matter.

It’s also weirdly unpolished. I know it’s a beta, but come on, it’s only two months from release. There are glaring spelling errors in the tutorial. When you discover a resource it doesn’t tell you what the resource is. The only way I’ve found to figure it out is to select the correct mine by accident, at which point it shows you where the seams are.

I’m baffled as to what the design brief for this was. It’s clearly not going to appeal to Settlers fans, but I can’t imagine there’s a huge audience out there for a clunky Settlers-themed RTS.

Well bummer. Wrong answer, but good to know.

Positive impressions? :P

It looks fairly pretty I suppose. Though honestly not that great.

I did the very simple tutorial. Started a skirmish. Built my first building and sent some engineers to finish it…and it crashed. I didn’t see anything that makes me want to try again.

Going by what I read earlier today on Reddit from people playing the beta, I wonder if any of the developers played any of the previous settlers games?

How do they spend all this time and at least one false start and, presumably, have the money and infrastructure to continue a beloved series and bungle it so badly when tiny teams are making new, creative games like Against the Storm and the many other city builder/economy management games?

It boggles my mind.

Dollars to donuts the pillars of the design (more combat, more RTS-y, etc) came down from some executive who saw a “market opportunity” and thought, “Hey, we have a fallow franchise whose branding documents share some of these keywords! Honh honh honh!”

From what I understand, it was originally much more like old school Settlers. If I had to guess, at some point during production some exec decided that it and Anno occupied too similar a space so they were forced to differentiate it by going all in on the RTS and ditching production chains.

Mmmm, that tracks pretty well too. I will only bet you donuts to donuts on that one.

So hungry for a donut now.

I may see if my wife has any interest in these…

As the German review linked above points out, the retooling has an additional layer of -WHY?- when you loo at Anno 1800, a slow paced building focused game, that was selling exceptionally well and apparently keeps selling DLC very successfully (despite being not quite as good as 2205 :P).

Ubisoft releases 97% the exact same open world game every nine months, so I don’t think they worry about that issue too much.

Heh, true enough, but in my head the exec thinks “Open world games sell loads for us, we should make more. Economic sims are niche, we can only have one.”

Now there is a take not often seen!

On one side it’s an accumulation of many personal preferences. I just like sci-fi more than historical settings for instance. I also think many elements are just better designed and implemented in 2205 though.

I strongly prefer a dozen+ hand crafted maps in 2205 over the random but completely samey maps of 1800.
Every map in 2205 has distinct shapes, resources and quest objectives. The random maps in 1800 are just indistinct blobs of islands with random regional resources. Some maps in 1800 have some predesigned components, but much weaker than in 2205.

I think the AI opponents are terrible and unfun. They are too dumb and passive to be competition, but they are present enough and occupy so much land as to be an annoyance.
Capturing islands via the weird share system with money and cooldowns was a chore. Military conquest is the same thing squared. Dozens open dozens of warships thrown against heavily fortified harbours again and again.
I guess the opponents are optional as you can just play without AI empires, but that’s also true of the terrible combat maps in 2205, so no advantage for 1800 here.

I really like the focus on flow based production and logistics in 2205 over the stockpile approach of 1800 (and the old Annos).

1800 is not without its merits. It is undoubtedly exceedingly gorgeous and some systems (electricity comes to mind) are more elaborate and interesting than the endgame economy in 2205.

Compared to 2070 though (especially with A.R.R.C)?

I prefer 2205 over 2070. It has been a while but I remember liking the campaign map changes in 2205 and the removal of (again mentioned already :P) useless AI opponents. I can still remotely remember managing hovercraft to kill enemy buildings one by one.

I didn’t know of AARC though. It does seem like a chunky overhaul.

I share your opinions on 2205. Fantastic game (I still need to finish my near max difficulty run!). I liked the underwater idea in 2070, but the faction differentiation was a bit meh really.