Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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'Stars in Shadow' Turn Based Space 4x being called 'moo-2 like'

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by holla_cabezas_de_mierda, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. holla_cabezas_de_mierdagender: ⚧ Cipher

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    Click here and disable ads!
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/464880/

    It is getting good reviews, came out of early release today I think.

    From the screenshots etc, it looks like it might actually be pretty good.

    Does anybody know anything about this game?
     
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  2. JarlFrankgender: ⚧ I like Thief THIS much Patron

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  3. holla_cabezas_de_mierdagender: ⚧ Cipher

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    thanks,

    Damn, this game looks pretty good from what I can see and reed thus far. I am really liking what appears to be the depth of ship design and tech, it looks like it could be complicated and varied. The graphics might make somebody think it is a simple game at first glance, but from what I can tell it looks quite detailed with design choices for more than just space ships but also star bases, fortresses and perhaps even ground forces or boarding party type equipment. .

    This game came out of nowhere for me, I am defiantly going to be trying this game at some point. Probably wait a bit for some patches to work through, as I have many games I am playing at the moment anyway, but will be trying this out at some point and my gut feeling is I think I am going to like it..
     
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  4. Jinngender: ⚧ Cipher

    Jinn
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    This game looks so fun. I have to say though that I have mixed feeling about the overall aesthetic style they have gone for here, but I can see it growing on me. I am also trying to finish up some games, but it probably won't be long before I grab this. Would love to hear some codexian opinions on it if anyone has given it a shot yet.
     
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  5. covrgender: ⚧ Cipher

    covr
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    Portraits looks like they were done by DoubeBear studio. Please post some impressions, I've been fooled to many times with games coming out of nowhere.
     
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  6. Arrowgrabgender: ⚧ Learned

    Arrowgrab
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    Some semi-organised thoughts after playing it a bit in the past two days. I haven't finished a game yet, mind you, so these are really just early impressions.

    - Obviously based on MoO 1 and 2, duh.

    - 7 playable races. They're generally similar, each having two extra abilities like pops producing more of some resource or having a unique early game tech. Humans seem to be Hard Mode, since their two abilities are that A) they have NO HOME PLANET and start with their population onboard transport ships, and B) they start with two Colonisers rather than one. No custom race option. There are also some dozen minor races, more on these later.

    - The game seems to aim for a spot between the first to MoO games on the abstraction vs. specific options scale, closer to the second one, though I suspect that more familiarity with combat, ship design and economy might reveal extra depth.

    - Every planet has a pop limit and a number of development slots based on the above. Every pop unit creates production AND food AND research AND money all the time (unlike MoO2), but that alone won't be enough - and this is where development slots come in. Rather than building structures with specific properties like in MoO2, you have 5 generic buildings: Farms, Markets, Labs, Factories and Mines (for metal, you'll need a LOT for ships and space stations). Each building gives you a fixed number of resources per turn, and a bonus if you have a high enough population to fully staff it. Researching certain tech will automatically replace all buildings of a certain type in your empire with an improved one (3 or 4 levels of improvement). A single pop unit counts towards the staffing level of all different types of structures, which motivates you to avoid overspecialisation: a population of X can fully staff one Farm AND one Market AND one Lab etc., but can't fully staff two Farms or two Markets.
    At the same time, some planets have resources that give you a bonus to all mine production, research etc.; in these places, some specialisation is a good idea. Also, ongoing tasks like Research sometimes give a set fractional bonus (Research doubles the planet's research, Mining increases metal yield by 1/3rd regardless of other values), while at others factors in other things (Produce Food gets you a bonus based on your Production points provided by factories). Therefore, you have to figure out the right ratio between generalisation and specialisation.

    - An interesting addition is the idea of planetary zones. Every planet has 1-4 biomes on it, and different races have different preferences. Here's an example: a planet has the Vent, Ocean, Reefs and Forest biomes. You're playing the Giant Isopod Scientist guys, who are the best at populating geothermal vents, decent in oceans and crap everywhere else. If you colonise the planet, you'll have a specific population cap there. However, Humans are best in forests, so if you have some in your empire, you should transport them to your new planet: they'll start populating the forest zone that your isopods can't utilise, thus increasing the pop cap. Get a third race, one that does better on reefs or in oceans than either the isopods or humans, and you pop cap increases further. Since higher pop means more pop-based resource production, more development slots AND fully staffed bonuses for more developments, this is something you should do whenever you can. A multiethnic empire will also let you colonise planets that your main species couldn't, at least not until some relatively late-game tech.

    - Minor races can be acquired by settling their home planets (or conquering it from a previous owner). They help you fill out your biome versatility described above, and they often also have interesting quirks. One species is a crappy producer and breeds slowly, but doesn't need food and can live on airless planets. Another one is unique in having the best affinity for the Metro(politan) biome and is unaffected by morale factors. A third one provides some science production but are otherwise useless troublemaking cunts, but they're the native inhabitants of the super-productive Gaia planet and you'll have to put up with them if you want that place. And you can't ship them off to a shithole because they refuse to migrate.

    - Transports and trade are elegant. There's a transport ship type that you can produce and then manually use to ferry around population units and ground assault troops. You can also tell them to go into the off-map trade fleet pool. Once there, they will automatically appear to carry out your population transport orders then go back into the trade fleet. The fleet automatically ships food from place of surplus to places with a deficit, and ships not used thus automatically generate trade revenue as long you have enough trade lanes between your planets (or leading to other empires with a trade agreement). As a point of criticism, the limited number of trade lanes seems to become a purely theoretical issue beyond the early game, since you'll ALWAYS have more of them than you can hope to build transports for.

    - Research is pretty straightforward. There are several branches (energy weapons, projectile weapons, missiles, social, physics, etc). It's pretty much what you expect. Late game tech seems to give you stuff like Doomsta... Mobile Planetoids, terraforming, planet construction, etc.

    - Ship design & combat. Combat is pretty much like MoO 2 with a lot of rock-paper-scissors considerations. Lasers are accurate, can get the Armour Piercing and Rapid Fire mods, but need to batter down shields first and use up lots of energy from your ship's generators. Projectiles are less accurate but can get the Long Range mod and penetrate lower tech shields. True to MoO, missiles are shit because they take time to travel to the target, get shot down by Point Defense and your run out of ammo. You also have MoO staples like enveloping weapons that damage shields on all sides of the target or kill enemy marines if they penetrate armour. You also have boarding action and small craft (fighters and bombers). Ship design works by dragging your various types of weapons and other gear into hull-dependent slots and then swearing when your generator doesn't have enough energy for all your systems. Bigger doesn't always seem to be better; you CAN waste one of your Dreadnought's weapon slots on point defense, but you might be better off puting a heavy hitter there and building a smaller Escort Cruiser specficially to act as screen for enemy torpedoes and small craft. You also get to design your starbases and planetary defenses. One really useful addition would be the ability to set up your fleet before a battle, so they each start where you want them; right now, I have a fleet of two Dreadnoughts and three Heavy Cruisers, and one of the cruisers (the one with the shortest range weapons) always starts behind the Dreads and by the time it maneuvers to the front the battle is usually over.

    - Some quality-of-life improvements would be welcome, most importantly a way to spread orders over several planets. You might have dozens of systems in the late game, each with 2-3 inhabited planets, with a good half of them set on automatic research or mining. If you research a tech that gives you an extra development spot on all your colonies, you'll have to manually click through to all automated planets, tell them to build something in that spot, then send them back to research/mining, which is a chore; though I guess MoO2 wasn't entirely free of this sort of repetitiveness, either.

    - All in all, I like it so far. Feels like MoO, and has that "one more turn" feel. Empire management seems to bog down once you grow past a certain size, but I also felt that with MoO 2 as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  7. zeitgeistgender: ⚧ Augur

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    What's the actual "tactical" combat like? I've seen a few Youtube clips like this one, and it doesn't seem very impressive (and it could be very annoying to repeat every time there's an engagement - is there an autoresolve option?). Is it more about the fleet composition and preparation than what you do in the actual combat screen?
     
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  8. Jeff Grawgender: ⚧ StarChart Interactive Developer

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    From what I can see it looks like an improvement over MoO 2 combat, at least in terms of systems and UI. Being able to move multiple ships at once will be a major time (and sanity) saver, and I'm intrigued by what looks like the ability to aim your turrets at a specific location on enemy ships.

    Of course, the AI looks like it still needs some work to put it mildly, unless maybe the tactical AI is affected by game difficulty (as opposed to only the strategic AI) and the youtuber you linked is playing on one of the easier settings.
     
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  9. Make America Great Again Commissar Dracogender: ⚧ KKKodex WCDS Commissar Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    So they refuse to vacate the clay and I cant put (((them))) into ovens then? What a librul crap this game is. Other than this it does looks like updated MOO2 with some good ideas from MOO3 like the subjugated populations.
     
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  10. I'm With Her SausageInYourFacegender: ⚧ for prison Arcane Patron

    SausageInYourFace
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    How advanced is the diplomacy system in this game compared to MoO2?
     
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  11. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    I played this in early access, haven't played the release version yet.

    It's good; definitely very, very similar to MOO2. If you liked MOO2 I honestly don't see how you could dislike this game. The aesthetic is a little different, but it's not a problem and after a while I found myself liking it. The races have notable differences, kind of reminded me of Sword of the Stars in that sense. I almost always played as Human because they were a greater challenge.

    I did have some criticisms, such as the larger combat scene being a tad slow, and lack of random events/space monsters (SotS spoiled me I guess), but I don't know if that's been fixed in the release version. I know they released a new race or two since I last played.
     
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  12. panzertotergender: ⚧ Arbiter

    panzertoter
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    Bad: lack of espionage, useless missiles (easily shot down by pd), stupid diplomacy (agreements bought for diplomatic points), no government options, manual refit (instant and mass refit costs a lot of money and resources)
    Neutral: tactical combat, ship design (MoO2 had 10000 more choices)
    Good: music, fun setting and lore (altough not too deep), slave raids,

    :3/5:
     
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  13. Kuattrogender: ⚧ Savant

    Kuattro
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    Jesus, this thing is BAREBONES. Either they run out of money halfway through and had to release it, or they just lacked any interest in this.

    And there's a point when something stops being derivative to become a clone. The developers of this saw that moment and kept going, only they took a chainsaw and started cutting to make the trip faster. So you get an MOO clone, but without any limbs.

    In a world with things like SotS, Distant Worlds, and hell, even Stellaris (at least it has events!), this is plain disappointing.

    And asking 23 eurobucks for a tablet MOO is madness.

    The art is cute though, and yes, there's ONE good idea in the different planetary regions, but other than that... meh.
     
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  14. I'm With Her SausageInYourFacegender: ⚧ for prison Arcane Patron

    SausageInYourFace
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    So, as I suspected, there is no real reason to not just play MoO2, eh?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  15. Tanakagender: ⚧ Novice

    Tanaka
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    This game certainly comes off as barebones by just playing around a little bit it can seem that way. I am playing a 500 system game and I keep finding more and more cool things. It has a lot of hidden depth that you have to keep playing to discover but you have to really play the game to unveil it as it is not really written down anywhere..guides, manuals, wikis, etc...I always wanted a MOO2 that you could play with more than just a few systems and now I finally have it. And there are a lot of differences between the two that I really appreciate. I really like the ship design trade offs. Some smart design here! But most of all it has the MOO2 combat that we all love and miss that the new MOO never delivered!
     
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  16. MadMaxHellfiregender: ⚧ Magister

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    as for?
     
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  17. Destroidgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Destroid
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    Sounds like you just volunteered to write the wiki.
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Well, I only played early access on small maps, and that was months ago before they apparently added new races and things, but I recall being impressed by a few additions. Specifically:

    You can discover minor factions that control a relatively valuable planet. I remember finding slave-traders who offered to be friends and sell me slaves that I could then use to up the population on my new colonies. I also seem to recall meeting pirates who indicated that they'd kill me if I didn't pay up. So, at least two minor factions if memory serves.

    The races have some differences that weren't in MOO2. My understanding is that different races have different propulsion methods, like SotS, which affects their ability to move around the strategic map. They also have different starting conditions and some sort of specialised area of technology. I personally play humans, because they start without a planet; you just get a colony ship, some transport pods, a scout ship, and a cruiser. It's a fun way to start, and you can't do that in Moo2.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  19. MadMaxHellfiregender: ⚧ Magister

    MadMaxHellfire
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    wow. exciting stuff. look at my excitement. :|
     
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  20. Lone Wolfgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Lone Wolf
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    Not really, as far as I know. There's one race that starts off with a stargate, but that's a tech anyone can research in the mid-game.

    How's that going, considering the game has a warning about it being unbalanced for anything past ~100 systems?
     
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  21. Tanakagender: ⚧ Novice

    Tanaka
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    Having no issues with the 500 system. They have added some game speed options since that help with that. Hopefully that will continue to be improved. The only issue I am having right now is my capital ships being one shot taken out by planetary death star beams lol.
     
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  22. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Patch released today. Here are the main things I noticed in the notes:

    Adds super-dreadnought class
    Adds the possibility of derelict/automated super-dreadnoughts to the map
    Adds the possibility of discovering android workers on a planet
    New artwork and some UI improvements
     
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  23. RuySangender: ⚧ Augur

    RuySan
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    Really hate the looks of it. Might be a petty thing to complain on a 4X game, but I want my space games filled with black and nebulas. Not all this blue.
     
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  24. Norfleetgender: ⚧ Moderator

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    That's not an issue, that's how planetary death star beams work.
     
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  25. Gepeugender: ⚧ Savant Patron

    Gepeu
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    It's out on gog. Opinions?
     
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