Author Topic: AI war player here, curious about this game  (Read 2031 times)

Offline CaptainTaz

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AI war player here, curious about this game
« on: May 27, 2015, 12:42:29 PM »
So I've been looking at a few trailers and stuff on steam, but I'm hoping to get some opinions from people who actually play the game.

What's good, and what's bad? Please don't exclude the bad either, I would like to know so I can really make a good decision before I choose to buy it or not.

Thanks ^_^
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 02:46:31 PM »
Well, if you come from AI War the most important aspect to know is, you are not directly in charge of a faction (like in AI War where you are the human commander), instead you are a solo person that tries to unite all the other factions. It's a really deep diplomatic game and less about "I will conquer them all!".
There are battles going on but you will only play a single ship against a lot of other ships (similiar to champion ships). You have not the power to eridicate races and have to depend on other races if you want to wipe of another race.
The core of the game is to interact with the "leaders" of the different races in a different way. The different races have entirely different political and social systems that directs the way how you can interact with them. The Burlusts for an example don't cara what you do for them, they are only interested in battles and will only listen to you if you fight (and kill) their leaders. Peltians however are communistic oriented and they have special voting proxies as political currency, you can literally buy everything in political meetings as long as you have the right amount of proxies.
A big part if the game is to learn how the different races work and what they want in order to make them do what you want.
You have to keep a balance between the different races, keep them in the right mood, create diplomatic connections between them and so on. In the end you will try to create a federation with as many races as possible but to manage this the races have to like each other and they have to like you as well or they won't listen to your idea.
It comes all down to relationships in the end.

If you have some problems with grinding, the game might not be for you. Some social relationships or stats will take a lot of effort to increase.
The tutorials are not very well made. You get BIG text walls and have to read them carefully or you won't understand most of it. There are dozens of stats that might confuse you, especially planetary stats and those get never fully explained ingame. Ont he other hand, most stuff isn't really THAT important, you will solely focus on the relationships and that's only what you need for the victory condition.
Battles might be a little too repetive after soem time. It's everytime you in a semi-turn based bombat system against a lot of other ships and you have to dodge the shoots while shooting down specific targets or managing other goals. You can auto-resolve battles however and in the end-game this is more comfortable because the auto-resolve funtion achieves victory a lot faster than you would.

If you purchase the expansion, there are two other modes, Betrayal and Invasion. Betrayal functions like traditional strategy games, hoard resources, build a fleet, defeat your opponents, conquer everything. It still has all that diplomatic stuff and you can go the sneaky way and backstab them all after pretending to be a friend but I found it more entertaining to rush down all combat researches and become an unstoppable behemoth that swallowed everything in it's way.
Invasion mode works again more like the classic mode, you have no power on your own and have to depend on other races but with the difference that this time you have to defend against a new threat that attacks in waves similiar to a tower defense game. The goal is to wipe that specific race and you have to convince teh other races that they have to put them down before it's too late.

What me amazes everytime is the big differences between the races. No race is like the other, some may have some common traits but thes still have their own systems and while it works well for that race YOU are the one who have to deal with all the systems together in order to reach your goal. A lot of the fights between the races comes from the different ideals of each one. The Acutians are interested in money and everything is okay to do as long they get enough profit from it, even blowing up an entire planet.
Thoraxian are your typical "we eat them all" insectoid race but they can be interacted and negioated with. Somethign that amazes me is that the Thoraxians, while considered the cruelst and worst race of all, are doing trading deals with other races and the Burlusts don't.
Poor Burlusts, even insects are more civiliced than them.

Offline CaptainTaz

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 03:11:31 PM »
-Lots of really good information-
Thanks for taking all that time to write that ^_^

That certainly sounds like a different sort of game than what I'm used to, that's for sure, but the mechanics sound very interesting.

'Tis a shame the Tutorial isn't well written. I really loved AI war's tutorial, it explained (almost) everything with depth and description, while keeping it simple.

I definitely think next time it goes on sale (and I have cash) I'll pick it up and give it a shot.

More input is welcome too, don't be shy now :P
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 10:18:53 PM »
-Lots of really good information-
Thanks for taking all that time to write that ^_^

That certainly sounds like a different sort of game than what I'm used to, that's for sure, but the mechanics sound very interesting.

'Tis a shame the Tutorial isn't well written. I really loved AI war's tutorial, it explained (almost) everything with depth and description, while keeping it simple.

I definitely think next time it goes on sale (and I have cash) I'll pick it up and give it a shot.

More input is welcome too, don't be shy now :P


I'll throw in a little tidbit. The universe of the last Federation feels more alive. There's a lot going on, and things are going to happen as a result of what you do and because of each race's own actions as the game goes on. That is a selling point, for me. Also, the combat system is really nice.
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Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 06:35:17 AM »
Since there already is plenty positive feedback, I'll add some negatives to the mix.

1) Combat. To me, combat always felt incredibly grindy and boring. Enemies have way too many HP, everything takes forever, and you always do the same thing in every battle. And there will be many, many battles, unless you decide to leave them to Auto-Resolve (which is will get you killed), or to not fight personally at all (which is a waste).

2) It's all about numbers. Make numbers grow, make them drop. A menu-based game, thoroughly.

3) Diplomacy. Maybe I'm not attentive enough, but I was always under the impression that Diplomacy is entirely up to the player, and that the only kind of Diplomacy the other races do is exterminating each other.

4) Extermination! War between the AI races seems to be exclusively about exterminating each other. No gradual, proportional application of force. Feels rather bad to me.

Just some points.
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Offline CaptainTaz

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2015, 08:05:20 AM »
I'll throw in a little tidbit. The universe of the last Federation feels more alive. There's a lot going on, and things are going to happen as a result of what you do and because of each race's own actions as the game goes on. That is a selling point, for me. Also, the combat system is really nice.
Cool!
Since there already is plenty positive feedback, I'll add some negatives to the mix.

1) Combat. To me, combat always felt incredibly grindy and boring. Enemies have way too many HP, everything takes forever, and you always do the same thing in every battle. And there will be many, many battles, unless you decide to leave them to Auto-Resolve (which is will get you killed), or to not fight personally at all (which is a waste).

2) It's all about numbers. Make numbers grow, make them drop. A menu-based game, thoroughly.

3) Diplomacy. Maybe I'm not attentive enough, but I was always under the impression that Diplomacy is entirely up to the player, and that the only kind of Diplomacy the other races do is exterminating each other.

4) Extermination! War between the AI races seems to be exclusively about exterminating each other. No gradual, proportional application of force. Feels rather bad to me.

Just some points.

Good to know. Thank you for sharing that. That seems to be a lot of what I read on steam (I've found sometimes steam reviews have been inaccurate, so I tried here instead) I will definitely keep those points in mind.
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Offline steelwing

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2015, 08:07:29 AM »
Been a while since I played, but it's an awesome game, in my opinion.
Combat can be a bit grindy, especially once you get certain combinations of weapons (Minigun, Energy Blaster, and Mass Driver, anyone?).  I don't really mind that part, though.
The real grind comes when you're trying to kill the Thoraxians.  I've never yet played a campaign in this game where I didn't end up having to kill them off, and in most cases, they're REALLY tough to take down.

Offline NickAragua

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2015, 01:24:07 PM »
I enjoy the combat quite a bit. Lasers, bullets and missiles fly everywhere, ships explode... it's glorious. You still need to be tactically smart though, unless you have severely outmatched your enemies in technology, if you fly into a big pile of lasers, you will explode. So, you need to use your special abilities to "clear the air" when necessary and target the biggest producers of enemy firepower (or stay out of their way). Sometimes you have a bunch of friendlies helping you out, too, it's not just you against the world.

The strategy layer is a kind of dense excel spreadsheet type of thing. In standard Federation mode, you will need to a) get the other races to like you and each other enough to form a federation and b) prevent the fed guys from getting killed by the non-feds. You also need to balance the amount of time you spend forming a federation with time spent making money and doing research/missions to upgrade your ship. If the game was just the strategic layer, I wouldn't play it (I'm not into spreadsheets), but it does a good job at providing a context for the many, many battles you will engage in.

If you're going to buy it, I recommend the Betrayed Hope expansion as well. Not for the Betrayal or Invasion mode, which are a bit half-baked in my opinion, but because it gives all the races a bunch of new ships and your ship a bunch of new abilities. In the original, you could ignore most non-capital ships most of the time, but with the expansion you have a bunch of new ships that can really put the hurt on you if you leave them alone.

Offline Misery

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Re: AI war player here, curious about this game
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2015, 05:16:23 AM »
Since there already is plenty positive feedback, I'll add some negatives to the mix.

1) Combat. To me, combat always felt incredibly grindy and boring. Enemies have way too many HP, everything takes forever, and you always do the same thing in every battle. And there will be many, many battles, unless you decide to leave them to Auto-Resolve (which is will get you killed), or to not fight personally at all (which is a waste).

2) It's all about numbers. Make numbers grow, make them drop. A menu-based game, thoroughly.

3) Diplomacy. Maybe I'm not attentive enough, but I was always under the impression that Diplomacy is entirely up to the player, and that the only kind of Diplomacy the other races do is exterminating each other.

4) Extermination! War between the AI races seems to be exclusively about exterminating each other. No gradual, proportional application of force. Feels rather bad to me.

Just some points.

I'm curious, which things exactly have too much HP? Or whatever stat may seem high? This hasnt quite been the case in my own playthroughs (and I'm on Misery at all times) but I'm aware that others are going to have very different experiences from mine.   Also, are you making sure to keep weapon types in mind?  For example, using energy weapons on shields, as other things will barely dent them.

If there ARE problems with the balance of some ship stats, I might be able to work on it a bit if Chris is okay with it.   I didn't alter the stats for the ships that appeared in the base game, but the expansion ships are my doing; the balance may not be quite right, there was only so much feedback on this element of the game during the expansion's development.  And heck, for the main game's development as well, as most players at the time seemed focused on testing the solar map stuff, so some issues may have been missed entirely.

I'd rather any bullet patterns for anything NOT be changed, but if there's any really major issues with any ship that isnt the Obscura Disc, please mention it.


I enjoy the combat quite a bit. Lasers, bullets and missiles fly everywhere, ships explode... it's glorious. You still need to be tactically smart though, unless you have severely outmatched your enemies in technology, if you fly into a big pile of lasers, you will explode. So, you need to use your special abilities to "clear the air" when necessary and target the biggest producers of enemy firepower (or stay out of their way). Sometimes you have a bunch of friendlies helping you out, too, it's not just you against the world.

It's worth noting that even at the highest difficulty it IS possible to complete pretty much any battle without having to use abilities for their bullet-clearing effect (and instead just for the effects they provide).  I usually prefer to point this out since, for those that are attracted to the game's combat side, the idea of HAVING to use the "bomb" effect of abilities to win battles can be kinda off-putting.  Careful piloting and manipulation of your ship's energy levels (shield, engine, weapon) can allow you to wade through it all.

Really though I think one of the things the combat excels at is that there's so many different ways to approach any given enemy or situation... that's one of the things that really caught my attention during the base game's beta and such. 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 05:22:01 AM by Misery »