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Endless Garbage

Okay, so, I gave endless space a try. Figuring, Hey I loved MOO and MOO2, enjoyed Galactic Civilizations 1 and 2, and loved Space Empires 2, 3, 4, 5... this seems like more of the same!
So... So Close.
My three biggest complaints are the victory conditions, diplomacy, and combat.
The victory conditions are vague and arbitrary, you can never quite figure out what is going to bring you closer to that victory condition. (Well, excluding I suppose the scientific victory, but good luck with that.) I lost half way through my grand plan... I don't know why I lost, or who I lost to, I just got the "You have lost, do you wish to continue?" screen. There is no screen to tell me "these are the victory conditions, and here is how close or how far you are from them." There are a couple sprinkled about randomly.. like I accidentally moused over something before, and saw my expansionist victory condition... which has been stuck at 70% for the past 200 turns. I try grabbing a new system, nope doesn't change, but this isn't surprising considering i only have about 15% of the galaxy. I could never produce enough people to expand even remotely as fast as the rest of the factions.

Diplomacy is stupid, I enjoy it when it works, but it just doesn't in this game. Again with the expansionist stupidity, for some reason my "Expansionist" nature was pissing in the wheaties of my neighbors. Even though i haven't grabbed another system or planet in 100 turns, they suddenly go from friendly to hostile, and declare war on me... after we've been allied for 150 turns?! And they make unreasonable demands, like "Give me all of your resources, and that planet.. oh you wanted something in return? nope." Then when they finally want a cease fire after I bash their skulls in to the ground... they demand planets in exchange... so I say no, eventually it gets to ceasefire for a ceasefire.. and I finally take it. This lasts only maybe 10 turns though before another fleet is attempting to capture one of my systems. They declare me unfit for the galaxy due to my expansionist ways.. WHAT THE FUCK? WHERE HAVE i BEEN EXPANDING? YOU HAVE 40 SYSTEMS,I HAVE 5. Crackheads, that is all.

Combat. This is the biggest WTF? I was playing a scientific and diplomatic game, as a scientific race. And the game was going swimmingly for the first hundred or so turns. I was leading science for a while... then as soon as they got more systems than me, that stopped... So, only expansionist civilizations win? Quantity over quality (the combat says the same thing.) So a scientific peaceful victory seems near impossible unless I want to give away everything I have to please these idiot bots or some how manage to expand faster than them. And that brings me to combat, finally after hundreds of turns... I get involved with this combat. I find out the hard way, that I am not prepared, no way at all.

First off, combat is rock paper scissors. This in and of itself isn't a bad thing. But what does make it bad, is you choose which you are, by building your ships. You choose to rock missiles, projectiles, or lasers.. you choose to defend against one of the same. This means you lose if you pick the wrong defense, and lose if you pick the wrong offense. This also means you have to refit your ships every few turns. But how do you know what to refit your ships to? By having your entire fleet crushed to death without killing a single ship, that's how.

You cannot see the composition of a fleet except during combat, or when they are attacking a planet that has a building that allows you to spy on them. So I'll crush 5 of their fleets in a row, then suddenly lose my fleet even though it has 3,000 military power, and I have 15,000, because i didn't know. Refitting costs a ton though, I could only afford to do it every maybe 30 turns.. (war time budget, at 60% tax, with most of my planets being harassed, left me with only a trickle of money) Worse, since I had so few planets, they could produce about 10 times as many ships as me, they didn't care that I killed 8 of their 10 fleets, the last 2 would crush me before I could afford to refit. (Also, if you gear for all 3, you lose flat out, because your military power and defenses are too low, I tried gearing for 2, but they still found my weakness within about 5 turns, and then within 10 those new fleets would arrive and beat the fuck out of me.)
 
Worse than the blind RPS though is the fact that combat is a fucking card game. And while the rest of the game is turn based, the card game isn't. The first few times I played it, I was lost. It did not give me enough time to read the cards, or figure out which one to use before it decided "oops, too late, no card for you." and then I would lose my entire fleet in the first volley. Once I did figure it out though, It only helped when I won the RPS match or at least Tied.. and THEN only if our military power was remotely even or mine was better. I did have a few victories from a weaker military power standpoint... but those are the exceptions.

Then the combat UI is garbage, say I want to attack a system with a fleet, I send it in... and some times the attack button highlights, some times it doesn't... some times i am attacked entering the system, some times I'm not... Some times I launch a fleet from the planet and try to join it with mine when defending... And some times they allow this, some times they just shoot down the smaller of the two fleets before I get a chance to act. There is no rhyme or reason to it, I've lost so many ships due to these little fickle things. Most of the combat, I could launch from the planet, form up my fleet, then attack. But 1 out of every 10 battles, I couldn't, and would lose my fleet. due to it being divided. It also does not allow me to choose WHICH fleet I defend with! so if I have 3 fleets at the planet, some times it chooses the weakest one.

Then, combat tends to go one after another.. some times, with no action between, meaning, i'll sit there for 10 or 15 seconds, unable to do anything, waiting for the next combat to start, but there is no UI element telling me combat is going to start, nothing indicating to me that "just wait, were being stupid and going to attack again." I cannot attack again, why can they? And why don't they let me move my fleets when i'm just sitting there for 15 seconds? :| 

In Summary 
FUCK THIS GAME AND ALL IT STANDS FOR. 
1
Richard Durham's profile photoNes Anderson's profile photoChristophe Finas's profile photo
9 comments
 
Thank you for the warning - will stay clear of Endless Space.
 
+Richard Durham I wanted to like the game, and I enjoyed it until the AI decided I should be exterminated and forced me in to a combat path when I wasn't planning on one.
I suppose if I played an expansionist game, or heavy combat game it would have ended better.
 
You mentioned all the "defects" a playing tour may have in Endless Space, but didn't speak about any of the game qualities. Were you in any specific difficulty level when experiencing the game?
 
was in normal difficulty if I recall correctly. I rarely play a game in hard the first time, and rarely play in easy period.
 
its alpha? :p then why did they release it for sale at full price? I don't care who are what you are, if you say something is "Released" it is no longer alpha, and I expect it to play decently, not have to wait 2 years before its worth playing. also, I DID try a fleet with mixed firepower.. but guess what? they weren't able to do enough damage AS I SAID. they were essentially gimped down to 1/3rd damage 1/3rd defense power potential up to 1/2. Usually about 2/3rd the ships would die in the first rush without killing any, then the third of my fleet that was strong to whatever the AI was... would try to win, but didn't have enough power to do shit anymore. 
AND I ALREADY COVERED THIS IN MY RANT. 
You can insult me all you want, but it stands, this is a released game that is garbage.

I gave the game a fair shot, I love 4x games, loved galactic civ 1 and 2, loved MoO1 and 2 (3 can die in a fire), loved Space Empires 2 3 4 and 5... and even enjoyed sins of a solar empire (havn't tried the new one) So I came at this game with high hopes... but was highly disapointed. I'm not going to forgive them for releasing an alpha, that is UNFORGIVABLE. And this game doesn't count for the playable alpha release cycle, such as minecraft, mount & blade, and other such games... since they are releasing it for full price, and saying it is RELEASED. not an alpha.
 
I'm going to just delete your posts if you keep lying. I said I DIDN'T play rebellion.

I'm sorry i hurt your poor feelings with my dislike of a game. If you are one of the developers, I'd say, get better at developing. But from your little tear, I highly doubt it. 

and again, I reiterate, it isn't a beta.. The current version of Endless Space is 1.0.8, the 1 is a major version number, meaning release. 0.5 could be a beta.. 0.2 might be an alpha. This is convention, if they want to try to reinvent the convention, that is their own problem. Now get out of my stream because the insults are getting tiring.
 
I believe you missed the qualities of the game and I still wonder why you missed them.

It sounds possible, actually, to be defeated like you described you were, but this is not a "frequent" occurrence, not even something that should occur to a "veteran" of the 4X genre.
Happened to me but could be countered later on ; provided what I would call the "realistic campaign effect", when your plans are not fulfilled like you hoped them to be, and you have to adjust, or to fight to survive ; with success or not.

The game manages to be 4X and to be perfectly manageable (in termes of interface, speed to micromanage something, etc), with a very sleek interface as well.
But it also allows "windows" to manage defeats, that is, it has numerous "barriers" (versus invasion, etc) that prevents early wipe, and I could go on.
The fact that a fleet should focus on one main weapon, or two "main", and must think about defending versus 1 or 2 systems is also a way to create a barrier from wiping one a whole empire.

Because of this, you could "disarm" an enemy AI by retreating and preparing what could counter it.
It also has a game system both sleek and "readable", pretty much like a boardgame, a point I find very enjoyable.

You say the game has been ill-developed, or that the devs get better at developing, or say it is not be ready for release, and with all this I strongly disagree.

The game does have a card and realtime combat system which has been deepened but still goes a bit too fast for beginners ; about this, I find it thrilling too, and without 'critical failures', as I really can still order what I want to (including retreat, if this is my priority), combining my priority with my sometimes poor reflexes but still managing to play and have a strong thing from the game.

I believe they have tried a few new routes for space strategy, mastered 4X with a sleek interface, a nice ambiance and music, a "boardgame"-like population and resource display. Many good points.

The game surely has some flaws.
Matt also tried to point them out in his post ; and wanted to help you understand his points. I agree with his points.
I would add that at times the AI looses the focus it needs in the war it tries to lead, and loiters around.

Just forget the exchange of aggressiveness there was ; as there was bold agressiveness on both sides, including toward developers you do not know, or a game that I think, you still don't know enough.

I don't dislike the fact that you wrote a rant about the game, but I didn't want to let this pass without exchanging with you the good points you should really find in it, or the qualities you really should not discard.

 
 
I tried many methods to fight the enemy. I spent about 200 turns at constant war with two factions, and never truly lost but neither could I win. Partially due to the fact that they both outweighed my sparse systems 2 to 1 so they could produce far more ships than I could. But also because of the 'surprise' factor at war. I had 2 groups of fleets ready right before I quit. One was primarily beams, the other was missiles. cannot remember what they were defending against, but one of them defended correctly, the other didn't. The first group arrived in a system, and i started taking it over after wiping out some 30 of their fleets (Cause i had 'won' the rock paper scissors) without losing a ship. I quickly swapped out the damaged ones for fresh ones from my backups being built on other planets. Then the next wave came, they crashed against me and died... Then the third wave came (i was about 1/4th the way in to capturing the planet at this point) It crushed my forces completely, one turn all of those ships were gone. My second fleet was almost there (it had been waiting behind until needed) It crushed the forces there though took losses, as it was defending against the wrong type. Then the next wave that came, two turns later... countered that fleet perfectly. 

That was the final straw, all of my ships were dead except for a few pathetic defensive fleets holding off the other faction on the other side of me. There was absolutely no way for me to know exactly what the fleet was comprised of before joining combat, and there was no where near enough time to retrofit or build a new fleet to match it. It all came down to flat random chance and the AI some how having perfect matches to my fleets already prepared. 

It stopped being interesting, it stopped being a challenge. I've never been much of a fan of gambling, I prefer to play by skill and tactics. Some people might like the random number gods... but even in games like nethack you can beat them almost every time, if you are good enough. Not here as far as I can see, not without overwhelming forces so that you can soak the losses of meeting a fleet unprepared for it. and holding reserves of every single combination of offense and defense. 
 

I had a game, during the "alpha stage" before release, where I was fighting at one time against two empires ; I won several defensive battles just like you said (destroyed about 30 ships too) and moved to crush an enemy, but at that time another empire interfered; one much stronger than me. This gave enough time for the initial enemy to recover from my invasion, that lacked power, and develop a counterforce.

This game was then a struggle but also a deadlock. I believe I was outpaced because I did not master the FIDS system enough, and colonized too much for early planets.

I eventually survived only because of heroes and the special Retreat card allowed by one of my heroes and some techs, that allowed most ships to survive a battle even if lost.
Otherwise, I could not outproduce the enemy. Workforce and solutions were lacking.
I had to start another game, and with what I understood from my previous game, I managed to do better.


I still think I cannot estimate the real replay value of the game.
Right now we are playing multiplayer, and we miss the "team" feature which the game is lacking.
I would say, however, that the game could stand 2 to 5 good solo games ; the main failure being on the AI maybe, despite its qualities in design.
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