Author Topic: eXplore, the first of the X's  (Read 5830 times)

Offline Velihopea

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eXplore, the first of the X's
« on: November 04, 2014, 10:39:31 AM »
Just heard about the game from RPS and joined to ask something that was not touched in the info:

Is there any eXplore aspect in this game? Most 4x do this by the way of units. If there are none, is there no exploration, wildlife, nature?

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 10:57:09 AM »
Cheers, and welcome!

Yes, there definitely is exploration, and it works much the same as you'd expect from most 4Xs.  The "no units" thing can be kind of confusing for sure, but basically you start out with a single scout point, and you can construct buildings that give you more scouting points.

During each turn, you can choose to scout by simply clicking on any area that is near enough to areas you've already seen.  You then see a visual of one of your spy planes (each scout point represents one of these) flying out to the location and then back home.

So the "no units" rule can be confusing, because sometimes you are giving orders to units, ostensibly.  But the thing is, there isn't a specific spy plane that you have to worry about health with, or individually manage, etc.  Instead they are based out of buildings, which is the sole thing you have to manage the health and so forth for.  The unit and the building are part and parcel.

This game actually has two levels of exploration!  Overland exploration is fairly straightforward because you are using planes, not barbarian scouts or whatever.  So water and so forth doesn't block you, which means that you have a lot more freedom to explore specific directions on the map if you so desire.

BUT there is also sonar exploration of the ground underneath the surface tiles.  This is how you find a lot of the resources, particularly minerals and oils.  It's also a way that you can find Thoraxian tunnels.  Sonar scouting is a lot tougher, because the crews can't go as far and there are some other limitations.  So you have better-than-average ability to scout overland, but then underground the scouting is harder than in most 4Xes.

Regarding scouting/sonar, if you have any unused points at the end of your turn, then it automatically uses them there, trying to expand as evenly as possible around your buildings.  So the extent of your actual need to micro scouting is far less than in, say, Civilization.  If you have a reason to go and explore in some direction, then you can immediately marshal all your scouting points and send all your planes in that area at once.  You don't have to worry that one is stuck way off on the other side of the map like in Civ.  And at the same time, the auto-scouting doesn't run any risk of you accidentally getting a scout killed or having scouts get stuck on one little continent or whatever.  Much less management that way.

Any other questions on that, please do let me know. :)
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Offline Velihopea

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 12:13:19 PM »
Great to hear, the system sounds good. If you are willing to part with further info: What are the rewards of exploration (other than those mentioned of sonar)? Does exploring the wild uncover lore, tech, resources or other benefits and does it further the story?

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 12:15:47 PM »
That's actually not something I'm fully ready to comment on, just because things aren't nailed down and I don't want to create an expectation of something that might not make the cut for whatever reason.  But it is my intent that exploration is a rewarding part of the game, at least. :)
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Offline Velihopea

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 12:27:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 12:53:26 PM »
My pleasure!
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Offline Tridus

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 01:41:45 PM »
Regarding scouting/sonar, if you have any unused points at the end of your turn, then it automatically uses them there, trying to expand as evenly as possible around your buildings.  So the extent of your actual need to micro scouting is far less than in, say, Civilization.  If you have a reason to go and explore in some direction, then you can immediately marshal all your scouting points and send all your planes in that area at once.  You don't have to worry that one is stuck way off on the other side of the map like in Civ.  And at the same time, the auto-scouting doesn't run any risk of you accidentally getting a scout killed or having scouts get stuck on one little continent or whatever.  Much less management that way.

Awesome. I really love this part. Not having to babysit this part will be great. I usually wind up throwing my explorers in Civ on automatic explore anyway, because driving the ship around an entire continent is super annoying.

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 02:27:04 PM »
I feel exactly the same way.  At the same time, if I WANT to look at something, I want to be able to marshal my scouts quickly and not have to wait like 15 turns.  Plus not having to babysit them around barbarians or whatever.
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Offline Mick

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 07:29:57 AM »
I felt exploration was something that felt missing from Last Federation (even though that wasn't strictly a 4x game), so I'm glad to see it will be a part of this one. It's often my favorite phase in most 4x games. Hmm, some 4x game needs to find a way to retain the exploratory element all the way to the end. Infinite map size?

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 09:04:54 AM »
I felt exploration was something that felt missing from Last Federation (even though that wasn't strictly a 4x game), so I'm glad to see it will be a part of this one. It's often my favorite phase in most 4x games.

It's true, that was something that was not cultivated in TLF at all.  It is something that I like, too, though.

Hmm, some 4x game needs to find a way to retain the exploratory element all the way to the end. Infinite map size?

You know how a little bit of some awesome food treat is amazing, but if you have a ton of it it starts to taste kind of ordinary -- or worse, kind of gross?  I think that's the way with the exploration bits.  It should be meaty and fun, and then it should end before the players get tired of it.  Being left wanting more is always better with that sort of thing versus running it into the ground in my opinion.  :)
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Offline Tridus

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 12:52:03 PM »
Hmm, some 4x game needs to find a way to retain the exploratory element all the way to the end. Infinite map size?

You know how a little bit of some awesome food treat is amazing, but if you have a ton of it it starts to taste kind of ordinary -- or worse, kind of gross?  I think that's the way with the exploration bits.  It should be meaty and fun, and then it should end before the players get tired of it.  Being left wanting more is always better with that sort of thing versus running it into the ground in my opinion.  :)

Also seems like the second layer of exploration (the sonar part) will keep it going for a while even after the first wave is done.

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 12:54:36 PM »
That's true -- that's a layer that, at the moment at least, you have zero hope of ever actually finishing.  You find what you find, but you'll never find it all and that's okay.
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Offline Velihopea

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 01:19:27 PM »
I felt exploration was something that felt missing from Last Federation (even though that wasn't strictly a 4x game), so I'm glad to see it will be a part of this one. It's often my favorite phase in most 4x games. Hmm, some 4x game needs to find a way to retain the exploratory element all the way to the end. Infinite map size?
I agree in that I think that infinite exploration would be a great thing (although not necessarily infinite map.)

That's true -- that's a layer that, at the moment at least, you have zero hope of ever actually finishing.  You find what you find, but you'll never find it all and that's okay.
Great to hear. I've felt that the model where  once you have walked over a tile it's explored -system thats used by most 4x's is not enough. It makes the world feel small and eventually empty. The more realistic model and IMO the more interesting would be that there is always something to find in a hex, just smaller chance of doing so.

Offline x4000

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 01:24:44 PM »
That's a good point!


On a semi-related note, at the moment I'm not doing any sort of "visual fog of war."  What are folks' thoughts about that?  I feel like it is a needless thing in this particular game, and like the complete-blackness "unexplored fog of war" is all that is needed.  Having to maintain line of sight on enemies really matters mainly because of troop movements more than anything else (although building construction is also relevant).

I feel like in a high tech society, having some insight into what is being constructed by your potential enemies is fine.  It's not like you can see their detailed population stats or exactly where their troops are positioned inside their town or whatever.  That stuff is pretty obscured in general until you get over near them.  Maybe spies, I don't know.  To some extent you can infer a lot, but it's kind of like looking at satellite photos of a country versus looking at their ledgers and their census.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: eXplore, the first of the X's
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 01:38:23 PM »
That's a good point!


On a semi-related note, at the moment I'm not doing any sort of "visual fog of war."  What are folks' thoughts about that?  I feel like it is a needless thing in this particular game, and like the complete-blackness "unexplored fog of war" is all that is needed.  Having to maintain line of sight on enemies really matters mainly because of troop movements more than anything else (although building construction is also relevant).

I feel like in a high tech society, having some insight into what is being constructed by your potential enemies is fine.  It's not like you can see their detailed population stats or exactly where their troops are positioned inside their town or whatever.  That stuff is pretty obscured in general until you get over near them.  Maybe spies, I don't know.  To some extent you can infer a lot, but it's kind of like looking at satellite photos of a country versus looking at their ledgers and their census.
Sounds reasonable to me. I am really starting to look forward to this :D.
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