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Thread: first beta tester insights

  1. #1

    Exclamation first beta tester insights

    Beta impressions.

    I know everyone here has been trawling through the websites looking for images, and some questions have been posted about the user interface and the strategic map in Sword of the Stars ][.

    I can't speak about any details, or the surprises in store for everyone once they have installed the game and hit the play button. What I can give you is my feelings and general impressions.

    The strategic, or star map, has changed, as you will have seen from the PAX demonstartion. What you wont experience until your sitting in front of it at home is just how the universe your looking at now seems so fluid and alive. As the original Sword of the Stars changed the look and feel of the turn by turn 4x game into an entirely new and fitting direction, SOTS ][ takes the developments and pushes them lightyears into the future.
    The strategic map feels alive, its fluid and it reacts. Its a real evolution. Screenshots and any static images do not do it justice, and every time I look I'm noticing some little touch I haven't seen before, which shows that this is more than just another project for Kerberos, but rather a labour of love.
    There's too many little touches to mention, and I suspect many more waiting for me to notice them. But all these little touches build up into a living picture, and the one word that seems to describe it is "immersive".
    You really feel like you are the emperor/queen/director when your making decisions and weighing up options within the game, and on the strategic level this gives the game a feeling of epic grandure, both with a sense of stately progress and frantic weighing up of options.

    I strongly suspect that his game could be responsible for quite a few wrecked marriages, its just so immersive, you don't want to step away from a game, or the universe the game is part of.
    Last edited by Nighthaunt; 02-10-2011 at 21:45.

  2. #2
    Major Ordo Impavidus's Avatar
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    Marriages, as defined by Divinity, are never wrecked since the unification of the sexes is established by default upon creation.

    Marriages, as defined by the world, on the other hand, are subject to divisiveness because the worldly apparatus is engineered to be divisive; anti-divine.

    Regarding SOTS II, it will most assuredly wreck my laptop. It may be time for a technology divorce so that I may acquire "the next best thing" in computing technology.

  3. #3
    Sounds good. And I want it to be good. Just been burned a lot this summer by PC games coming out in a bad shape. And I have seen very little real in depth demonstrations of this game to base any kind of purchasing decision on. So right now at least its feeling like another blind faith leap to pre-order. I hope that if its not ready that they will delay an fix it until it is. Would not be a huge loss to do so since its not exactly on a lot of peoples radar right now anyway.

  4. #4
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Haven't you signed an NDA or something that says you can't post stuff like this to the public forum?

    Also, rather than wasting your hours "noticing" "little touches", you should go look for CTDs. I want my SOTS2 to arrive bug-free on release. :-p
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  5. #5
    Reichsmarschall Paradox Dev Team Darkrenown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    Also, rather than wasting your hours "noticing" "little touches", you should go look for CTDs. I want my SOTS2 to arrive bug-free on release. :-p
    He's more of an "advance copy winner" than beta tester, so he can just play all day if he likes
    Relentless madman.

  6. #6
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Ah, fair enough.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  7. #7
    The problem with this sorta thing is he couldnt say bad things if he wanted to. It all goes through the PR engine first. While its nice that someone get special treatment and all..anything producted by Night is completely limited to just more hype and not useful information. You can bet 6 months from now Kerb will claim they "beta tested' the game with the community over this. Its a sign of weakness that players arnt willing to demand to be more than just PR proxies

  8. #8
    Well I have signed an NDA, and the impressions were cleared first with the CEO of Kerberos.

    I am playing, and passing on any information to Kerberos, although to be fair the log system present in the game really helps isolate any issues so they can be resolved very quickly.

    But regarding dissapointing PC releases this summer, you guys are in for a real treat when Sword of the Stars ][ is released

  9. #9
    Further Beta Impressions.

    Well I've recently got to play with a later build, and I thought it's time to give you guys some more impressions, it's taken a bit longer than I would have liked where I've been working and playing

    Technology Forest.

    The old favorites are back, as well as some new friends. The user interface for the tech forest is nice, and retains the look and feel of the original interface while developing it. There are a lot of new technologies to develop, and thankfully Kerberos haven't stuck them all at the top of the tree. There are new techs found at almost all levels, and some of the old technologies have been re-imagined into new techs which will quickly become new favorites. I know I've now got a new early combat tech thats one of my favorites which I wouldn't have normally researched in SOTS prime.

    Design Screen.

    I suspect that a lot of us are going to be spending considerable time in here. It's beautiful to behold, simple and yet almost infinitely adaptable, and a real evolution of the original ship design system. The ability to goto the weapons test battleview and try out the setup does add quite a lot of excitement to the process, and gives you a real visual kick . Considering that the ships and weapon hardpoints are much more detailed, even on the cruiser level, the new design process allows you the infiinite choices were used to with SOTS while avoiding going down the route of taking forever to design a single ship.

    Voices.

    The voices for each race are now in place, and are simply aural beauty. They have taken the overall theme of the voices from the original and evolved them. The first time I heard the Liir voices in concert I had a little shiver run down my spine. The voices in the original were the marmite element of the game, you either loved or hated them. These have been further developed, and sound much more "rounded" for SOTS ][.

    Combat.

    This is what I have no doubt everyone has been waiting for. A quick learning lesson from me first - remember it helps to get into combat if you declare war - thanks Mecron for that handy hint
    The combat engine is a delight, and its true that it feels on a whole larger scale than SOTS prime. The new graphics are incredible and the damage to ships really helps with the feel of immersion - something of a theme running throughout SOTS ][. The effects make you love to zoom in, and it feels a much more stately dance compared to SOTS prime, achieving the aim of fewer ships but more important ships which Kerberos had set out to achieve.
    Its smooth, and in the intial stages you get the feel of submarine combat in WW2, where your looking for the enemy fleet and searching around the system for them.

    Diplomacy.

    Well this is a lot more developed that SOTS prime, and certainly light years ahead of the original game at release I haven't had too much of a play around with the options but its much more fleshed out compared to the ANY release of SOTS prime, and if you like your diplomacy there's going to be plenty for you to do.

    Stations.

    A very nicely realised addition, they make a real difference and aren't something tagged into the game for the sake of it. They are fully realised within the game mechanics and range from essential to useful. They give a real feeling of size in combat and as an essential part of your empire in the strategic view.Visually I bet everyones jaws drop when you see the hiver gate stations, I know mine did

  10. #10
    Private Phazon's Avatar
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    Can't wait for SotS II! Can only imagine how nice the game looks with the new engine.

  11. #11
    Thanks for the heads up!

  12. #12
    Great to see impressions!

    What I've been wondering is this:

    SOTS had the benefit of multiple expansions, all of them adding significant content. Will SOTS2 be similarly packed with many techs, ship types, features, etc. etc. right out of the gate, or will it feel more like a (greatly new and improved) version of pre-expansion SOTS?

    Fingers crossed. Thanks!

  13. #13
    Thanks for posting your impressions. This is sounding pretty good and promising. This year's autumn is really heavy with interesting releases and budget aside, I have no idea how to ever decrease my backlog!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Roberts View Post

    SOTS had the benefit of multiple expansions, all of them adding significant content. Will SOTS2 be similarly packed with many techs, ship types, features, etc. etc. right out of the gate, or will it feel more like a (greatly new and improved) version of pre-expansion SOTS?
    I honestly doubt it will be As packed, your asking for a single game with as much content as.... 3 or 5... I'd expect a game with new content at the level of SotS I before expansions and then to be expanded in exactly the same way till it has similar amounts of contents.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Moldovia View Post
    I honestly doubt it will be As packed, your asking for a single game with as much content as.... 3 or 5... I'd expect a game with new content at the level of SotS I before expansions and then to be expanded in exactly the same way till it has similar amounts of contents.
    If I recall correctly, Mec mentioned on the Kerb forum that it will be the same deal with SotS ][ and SotS ]|[ (yes, they have plans and background for a trilogy all set) as with Prime - that is a Basic Game + 2 Major Expansions (BOB & AMOC) with a new race each + 1 Content expansion (ANY).

  16. #16
    Let's put it this way, the tech forest should be as beig or bigger than the one in SotS prime version 1.8.0.
    The combat is different, no more abstracting an entire system to a single planet and no more having 100 ships waiting until some other ships die.
    Stations take a much bigger and integral roll in the game with 5-6 distinct variants when the game lunch.
    Diplomacy have been overhauled, you can now tell your friendly hovers not to build gates at your systems or make a sector wide agreement to not build more than X Leviathans per faction.

    And much more.

    All in all I think that the amount of content won't disappoint you.

    Warder

  17. #17
    Major hoikof's Avatar
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    Sweet Jesus, that sounds promising.

    I'm assuming this is valid post or it would have been blitzed by a mod.

    Don't worry about my marriage (I'm hung like a donkey). Worry about my sanity - 12 hours to wait.

    Sounds great - thanks for the update. You better not be from Kerberos marketing!

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