My feedback is based on the Tech Preview_1b. I am assuming that balance/UI/gameplay is placeholder at this point. Any comments I make about the gameplay are made with the understanding that nothing is final – it may seem redundant to write this out but I do not want to come across as expecting a finalized game.
- I only play in single player and only with random maps. I treat my games as little stories, so I will always focus on seeking immersion into each game’s “world”
- I will always prioritize fun over balance
- My intentions here are merely to throw my $0.02 into the mix
- My critiques will be more concept focused than numerical and I’ll be more focused on requesting capabilities for modding in the future
Regarding the current build’s gameplay:
1) I have not had a chance to play extensively yet (still only 5-hrs), but I’m working on it as I’m able.
2a) Combat is currently fast for my preferences. That said, I’m heavily biased for what I’ve experienced with Sins Rebellion. I enjoy the slower TTK – as it gives me time to move the camera through the battle and enjoy the various weapons hitting shield/hull (yay explosions). It also gives me time to check in on other battles/skirmishes to see if I should consider sending reinforcements or just retreat.
2b) My preference for the utility/scout/siege ships is that they are given weak weapons for dealing with strikecraft or corvettes. They’d still lose a dual to a frigate – but at least the frigate wouldn’t “win as much” – this is a thematic thing for me. I don’t they should serve as major sources of damage – but I do think it would be more immersive if they had the equivalent of a pistol so they can a least spite whatever attacks them.
2c) Planet Garrisons: (I’m assuming that all races will have them)
- TEC: They’d have the largest garrisons by supply
- Vasari: I do think that friendly Phase Gates should be “seen” by garrison forces as phase lanes available for use. This would stay thematic with the Vasari’s mobility focus. I don’t think they should have the ability to use garrisons offensively, but it’d buy the main flet time to get to a planet under attack.
- Advent: (I have no ideas at this time)
- Pirate: Their garrisons are more about entering wells to capture enemy ships and then return with their loot to their homeworld as a trophy or as something to scrap for resources. More like raiders who pillage nearby planets. If there aren’t any ships to steal, then trade ships will suffice as compensation for their time. If they see neither, they’ll just leave and search elsewhere.
3) New Features: I’m really excited to see how these play out!
3a) Planet Components:
- Hardened Bunker: In addition to the extra planet health, I would suggest this allows the planet to have a %-damage reduction from bombing as well as a reduction in population %-lost from bombing
- Regional Government: If allegiance is a feature that will return, a small boost (1%-5%)to max planet allegiance, in addition to the civilian slots, would be thematic
- Tactical Relay: In addition to the increased tactical slots, a minor boost to either friendly ship move speed or friendly ship targeting within the gravity well would be thematic
- Smuggler’s Den: A muse I have for this is that pirate raids/attacks against planets with the Smuggler Den upgrade would be slightly lessened – in addition to the current effect. It’d be thematic
- Garrison Recruitment Center: (can’t be built on a planet with Pacifist Society) I really like that this makes use of idle factories rather than having ships just appear. If planet population is a returning feature, it’d be nice if it added a small boost to the baseline 100 supply of the garrisons. If it’s not a desired for the official game, it would be nice if it was included as a scalar similar to the outlaw sectors and simply had a “0” multiplyer that a modder could edit later on. I wonder if they have a preference for which ships/cruisers to build? It’s really cool though that as you unlock ship types they start building those ships if supply permits.
3b) Capital Ship Components:
- It would be nice to be able to bias AI to select specific (or from a list) customizations by faction
3c) The derelict items is awesome! It would be interesting if in the occasional uncolonizable gravity wells you could find ruined derelict fleets from previous battles between the factions
3d) Moving planets is really cool.
- Will you be adding a feature that allows us to see the planet’s orbit if we hover over the planet (and have the feature turned on in the graphics options – kinda like how we could toggle wreckage showing in sin rebellion).
- Can research stations gain the ability to detect the duration left on phase lanes (after you research the technology to detect incoming ships)
3e) Black Market/Auctions:
- I’m enjoying the idea of this! You have to find them before you can participate is a nice twist
- auction times are short and easy to miss if you’re focused on a battle
- Minor factions that can bid in each other’s auctions
3f) Pre-req technologies being queued for selected technologies is a nice QOL addition
4) Wishlist/requests for future builds (this is obviously won't be part of any technical previews):
Please note that this is just an assortment of features that I’d love to see in some capacity (or at least be available for modders to play with) for the future builds. The comments here do not pertain to the current build.
4a) Militia / Minor Faction AI
- In the previous games it annoyed me that militia worlds did not attempt to rebuild their ships or to rebuild a garrison fleet on their owned worlds. Minor Factions were much better about this, but they seemed limited in what they did and they did not try to upgrade their planets nor did they seem to have behaviors unique to them. I’m hoping that can change in Sins 2. Some (very rough, high level examples follow).
- Similar to how the playable factions can have their AI biased to prefer certain items, I’d like to see the minor factions do the same (just in a slower, much more limited faction. They aren’t trying to win the game obviously)
- Minor factions & militia factions can have homeworlds - possibly with unique bonuses?
- Allowing minor factions to have their own technology trees would be appreciated. For base-game research trees, they’d use whichever playable faction was most similar to them
- All subtypes would try to build fleets to garrison their planets and 'certain' minor factions only should be given starting capital ship or two.
- Allowing for a limited minor-faction to minor-faction diplomacy would be appreciated for making the galaxy seem more alive
- The following subtypes can be mixed & matched for more interesting characteristics:
- Economy-type minor factions will focus on an excessive number of trade port structures. For planet slots they’d focus on commercial districts, media conglomerates & autonomous refineries. These would prioritize researching economic technologies
- Aggressive-type minor factions will focus on maximizing their fleet supply and they’d patrol adjacent planets. For planet upgrades, they’d focus on garrison upgrades. These would prioritize researching economic technologies and unlocking more ship types to build, although it may be interesting if they had access to cruisers beyond their tech level.
- Defensive/Turtle-type minor factions would focus on starbase construction and defensive structures (with a trade port or two). For planet upgrades they’d focus on Hardened Bunker & Tactical Relays.
- Colonizing-type minor factions would be focused on colonizing worlds adjacent to their own (if able – while they can go to war with other minor factions, they won’t go to war with playable factions).
- Allow the factions to be set to colonize within a specified number of jumps from their homeworld
- Pirate-type minor factions, whenever they’re bored, would raid nearby planets to try and capture ships that can be sold off later or just kept at their base of operations. They’d be less interested in attacking planets that have Smuggler’s Den upgrades (so reduced fleet sent on attack waves). They’d be focused on trade port & ship building infrastructure, as well as planet exploration (to see if they’re anything worth stealing)
- Research-type minor factions like to explore and will usually have smaller, but better fleets. They’ll max out their planet upgrades with Surface Research Labs. For tech priorities, they’d prefer to increase credits/metal/crystal first to fund their research, then focus on improving the hull/armor/shields/weapons of their ships. Giving them unique capital ships that bolster their research could be flavorful as well
5) Will minor factions be able to have similar functionality as seen in Sins Rebellion?
- As a way to expand on this, if they’re given their own tech trees, they can become more valuable the longer they’re allowed to live (unlocking more interesting abilities for player use)
- For my preferences, keeping some of the original function of the minor-factions as well as keeping the newer functions (market) is desirable. Especially as the minor-factions will be able to fund their research by using the resources/credits that the playable factions pay them with.
6) Will “militia” owned planets return? (the non-minor/non-playable factions that have no interest in dealing with anyone besides themselves)
7) Random Musings: I’m not sure if any of these are viable with the game engine or if they’re even actually good ideas, but I figured there’s a small chance they may be of use to the developers.
- Planet component slots can interact with planet bonuses (militaristic populations inherently have planet garrisons, pacifist society planets cannot build garrison recruitment centers
- Multiple Pirate-faction types (kidnappers take ships, mercenaries attack planets, assassins target titans & capital ships)?
- Vasari planets using phase space to reduce bombing damage?
- Planets that can shoot specific/all enemy ships & structures
- Planets that have abilities that can target specific/all enemy ships & structures
- Different stars have different orbital axis (so your starting star would appear ‘flat’ but a different star system would appear to be on a plane 90 degrees to the one you’re used to, requiring you to change your camera angle while at that star)
- Binary star systems (large/small star or two similar sizes that have small orbits about a center-point)
- Can planet orbits be made elliptical?
- The planets having orbiting moons is awesome!
- Is it possible to have, say a gas planet with an orbiting planet with it's own orbiting moon?
- Is it possible to give planets multiple moons?
- Is it possible to give player start planets orbiting moons?
- The only thing I noticed; on 2 occasions my capital ship (Kol) couldn’t be selected and/or it wouldn’t respond to my commands. I’m not sure if it was ‘disabled’ as I can’t replicate this. After 10-20sec I was able to control it again.