Sins of a Solar Empire

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Ruins
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Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Ruins » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:25 am UTC

Anyone playing it? I just started playing it last night, and it seems to be a very interesting mix of RTS and turned-based strategy like Civ2.

Link: http://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby b.i.o » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:13 am UTC

Looks interesting--I'll check it out if they release a public beta or demo or something, or after it comes out and gets real reviews.

RTS's with less micro and more macro always appeal to me.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:30 pm UTC

Picked this up last night off of stardock. It's been fun.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:52 pm UTC

I've been sort of tangentially aware of it since it was announced. I was never looking forward to it, or looking for anything about it, news of it just kept popping up whenever I was looking for game news. I might buy it when the price drops.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Miles Invictus » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:05 am UTC

I'll probably get it in a week or two. I like real-time strategy, but I also like eating.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Ruins » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:07 am UTC

Played a game on quick setting last night as the TEC against easy comp to get a feel for everything. Ended up building pretty much everything in the tech tree and enjoyed the combat system quite a bit. The interface is pretty intuitive, but the panel on the LHS took a bit of getting used to, and I mainly stuck with CTRL+# way of organizing things.

The TEC feels like a zerg race, with very cheap vessels and decent firepower but low hull points and shields. The massive ion cannon at the end of military research was really fun to play with, since you can see the projectile fly through space and then utter destroy a planet's defenses. The game would have been done in 3 hours if I tried, which seems to be a nice slow pace for a small map. Wonder how long a game on slow will take on the biggest map.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:41 pm UTC

This game is amazing. It is not just an RTS, but also a member of the 4X genre. If you like stuff to be ridiculously epic, this is for you. On even a small map, late game fleet combat is insane, and it is only more intense on larger maps. The easy AI is super weak sauce, but the hard AI will wipe the floor with you if you don't know what you are doing. There is online play, and you can start an online game from a save if you want to play a massive ongoing game. There is no actual limit on how large a map you can make for the game, so you could have dozens of stars with hundreds of planets each if you wanted (make sure you have a fast box for that, though). It'll run on a POS machine, but scales really well still.

Reservations: there is no online voice chat, achievements aren't actual games for windows achievements, there is no "official" way to determine a winner if someone has to leave or drops mid game.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:01 pm UTC

The one thing I'm really lamenting is the lack of a singleplayer campaign. they've greated a game world, and I'd love to play in a story. Even if the story is relatively small.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

Gharbad wrote:The one thing I'm really lamenting is the lack of a singleplayer campaign. they've greated a game world, and I'd love to play in a story. Even if the story is relatively small.

My understanding was that they figured a single player campaign would ruin the free-form nature of the game. They want you to make your own story of first contact and so on.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:10 pm UTC

I guess that makes sense... but even Galactic Civ had a story. Every RTS I know has a story. Alpha centauri had a story.

I like stories.

I also think I lament the loss of a story because, unlike many 4x games, there are only 3 races. Which means that they're not so much "the infinite variety" kind of civilization (I mean, like in Civ, the egyptians and the british are different, but only slightly, and mostly a blank slate), and a very specific civ (like starcraft). They have backstory, they have this whole universe. I just want to have a story :(

It's not a big deal, and I'm still quite enjoying the game. I just wish there was a story :(.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:17 pm UTC

Does anyone want to start a preposterously long and epic game online? I am thinking three to six players on a custom map with hundreds of stars. Start whenever, decide when the game will finish when we have to.

Who's with me!?
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:39 pm UTC

God yes, I'm in!
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

Put me in the meh category on this game. It's certainly better than some games being released, but it's not as good as people seem to portray it. The tech tree is rather shallow, most of the military research seems to be for the same thing, but placed in 4 different places on the tree to make it look bigger. The factions are set apart about as much as those in Supreme Commander, which is to say, very little. I'm also not impressed by the game engine, there is no way 12 planets should make the game use over 1GB of memory, makes me very skeptical that the engine scales as well as they claim it does. I wouldn't call the game an RTS/4X hybrid, it's just a shallow 4X game. Shallow isn't necessarily bad though, sometimes it is a good thing to simplify things (KISS).

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:55 pm UTC

I can understand your critisms. Except about it not being an rts/4x hybrid. Mainly because it's in real time. I could say that it's a rts game, but I wouldn't call it just a shallow 4x game.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:14 am UTC

What's the best way to coordinate? For me, it is Google Talk. My address is timmmeister at gmail dot com.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:53 am UTC

Gharbad wrote:Except about it not being an rts/4x hybrid

Nowhere in the average definition of 4X is a requirement it can't be in real time. It probably doesn't help matters that nobody seems to agree on a definition for 4X. Age of Empires has the elements of 4X, but nobody would call it a 4X game.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Midnight » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:08 am UTC

looks pretty cool. i might buy.

edit: if i do buy, why stop at 3-6 players? it supports 10.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:59 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Gharbad wrote:Except about it not being an rts/4x hybrid

Nowhere in the average definition of 4X is a requirement it can't be in real time. It probably doesn't help matters that nobody seems to agree on a definition for 4X. Age of Empires has the elements of 4X, but nobody would call it a 4X game.

No, 4x games don't have to be real time. but, all that has to define a real time strategy game is that it's a strategy game in real time. Since sins is in real time, it is thus a RTS by definition.

It's also a 4x game.

Thus, it's an RTS 4x game hybrid.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

Gharbad wrote:Thus, it's an RTS 4x game hybrid.

So why do people seem to say this game is trying something new? And I'd say it matches the definition of a Grand strategy game rather than a real time strategy game. Even though GSG is still in realtime, it is distinctly not called an RTS for some arbitrary reason. Maybe because everyone just wants to think their game is different where it isn't.

Edit: And strangely enough, people seem to consider World in Conflict a real time tactics game when it does one thing those never do: reinforcements. Do people have to make strategy game definitions so blurry?

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:51 pm UTC

Midnight wrote:looks pretty cool. i might buy.

edit: if i do buy, why stop at 3-6 players? it supports 10.

Logistics of organizing six people, let alone ten people's schedules are pretty rough.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby jdharper » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:50 pm UTC

Ooh, ooh! Can I play too? This sounds like fun (especially since this is one of those rare RTS games that lets you save multiplayer games).

My GoogleTalk account is jeremy.harper ~AT- gmail -DOT~ com.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:40 pm UTC

Just watch out for disconnections or you're going to have to fall back on an autosave.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby SecondTalon » Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

Gharbad wrote:No, 4x games don't have to be real time. but, all that has to define a real time strategy game is that it's a strategy game in real time. Since sins is in real time, it is thus a RTS by definition.


So, Unreal Tournament is an RTS?

Anyway, I must check this game out.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:37 pm UTC

Wellll there goes my sunday.

I dig the Advent, but mostly for cosmetic reasons. Anyone know what the other two races strategize like?

So far I'm thinking that all three races are essentially the same.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:35 am UTC

You're right. Clearly Sins of a solar empire has nothing at all in common with real time strategy games. I mean, how silly it is of me to consider a strategy game which is played in real time, a real time strategy game. It doesn't even have any of the ear markings of an RTS. You don't mine resources. you don't build up units. you don't have supply limits. You don't go down tech trees, to unlock more powerful units and structures. You don't build bases to increase unit flow. No elements what so ever of RTS.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Vaniver » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:27 pm UTC

I'll be playing it in a few minutes (I got on xkcd just to recommend it).

Right now, I'm viewing it as a "good RTS" more than I am a "good 4X" game. The prospect of an interesting 4X game was enough to make me buy it without anything other than PA's recommendation, but actually playing it the 4X part seems a bit shallow. There are only three resources that you can only manage in simplistic ways; increase population and build trade routes to get credits, mine metal asteroids to get metal, and mine crystal asteroids to get crystal. It's very much the Starcraft minerals and gas instead of the Alpha Centauri food, minerals, and energy. Culture is once again the simplistic "if there's red, it's dominated by the red empire's culture," which is par for the course (but it would have been nice if it had been an improvement).

Fleet battles so far have looked awesome, but haven't seemed to have or require much micro (which is something I prefer in games; I play them for the strategy, not for the tactics).

My GoogleTalk account is vaniver <at> gmail <dot> com. Do we want to try and get a regular night going, like, say, Wednesdays?
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Jessica » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:44 pm UTC

I do agree with that. It's really an RTS game with some slight 4x conventions. but, it's still fun.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

I'd like to do either a regular night or a smaller "ad hoc" game that just happens whenever everyone is available.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Ruins » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I'll be playing it in a few minutes (I got on xkcd just to recommend it).

Right now, I'm viewing it as a "good RTS" more than I am a "good 4X" game. The prospect of an interesting 4X game was enough to make me buy it without anything other than PA's recommendation, but actually playing it the 4X part seems a bit shallow. There are only three resources that you can only manage in simplistic ways; increase population and build trade routes to get credits, mine metal asteroids to get metal, and mine crystal asteroids to get crystal. It's very much the Starcraft minerals and gas instead of the Alpha Centauri food, minerals, and energy. Culture is once again the simplistic "if there's red, it's dominated by the red empire's culture," which is par for the course (but it would have been nice if it had been an improvement).

Fleet battles so far have looked awesome, but haven't seemed to have or require much micro (which is something I prefer in games; I play them for the strategy, not for the tactics).

My GoogleTalk account is vaniver <at> gmail <dot> com. Do we want to try and get a regular night going, like, say, Wednesdays?


I finished a quick game on normal against the comp with all three races so far, and I found that it was more of a RTS in that mode. I really liked Starcraft, which I consider RTS perfection apart from an old interface. Balanced units, plenty of macro, micro and overall strategies to try, and hard to master. Overall, the thing that bugs me the most with SoaSE is the lack of micro. I wish the ships would move faster so I can move away damaged units, or at least there should be a turbo mode of movement (like the researchable abilities of one of the TEC cruisers to quickly close distance) to allow for more micro. I found that I was waiting most of the time while playing, which is kind of unusual for me in an RTS, especially in Starcraft and War3.

I need to try the other the other modes and play with some friends before I can comment further on how good the game is.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Vaniver » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:54 pm UTC

Ruins wrote:I found that I was waiting most of the time while playing, which is kind of unusual for me in an RTS, especially in Starcraft and War3.
Same here. My friends that are better at RTSs than I am have learned to never stop ordering things. I never picked up that trait, and so I would continually do worse than them because I would delay making orders (oh, I have 1000 minerals; I really should have built that barracks!). In Sins... for big games, you bring a book.

I really wish it were possible to alter the speed during the game; I'm going to start trying games on fast now that I have a feel for it, because mid-late game on normal it takes interminably long.


Strategy discussion: Capital ships are the analog of heroes from WC3; the first game I didn't build one for a while, then quickly learned from my mistake. I tend to go with the ship with Colonize; saving on a colony ship is rather helpful early game, and having the colonizer move with the fleet makes it easier to manage. For TEC, it's also got a nice passive buff for the fleet it's with; the Advent's buff is somewhat more useful (+damage instead of +hit, and a higher percentage) but takes antimatter; I haven't been too impressed with the Vasari's colonizer yet. A colonizer capital plus a few frigates can easily take out the defenders of an asteroid, and with around 5 frigates can take out the defenders of a planet without losses. I'm still figuring out how to balance resources well, especially when you don't have many choices in where to colonize (if you have two volcano planets and a few asteroids that only have 1 or 2 crystal, good luck getting lots of crystal).

[edit]Reading the Sins forum, I've picked up some ideas for defense that are far better than just placing a few Gauss turrets. The hangers sound more useful than I thought at first; I'll have to test them when I play today.

So far the TEC seem to fit my playstyle the most (space libertarians!). The Advent seem fine, but I hate their voices. I haven't been impressed with the Vasari.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:52 pm UTC

Repair station with four hangers surrounded by turrets is fun!
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:27 pm UTC

I feel like the only difference in the races is when they get various tech, and some mild boosts to those techs.
E.g., vasari get a bonus to population caps on all planet types, and earn refineries pretty early on.

I just have a colonizer follow my main fleet a bit. its a few more clicks, but i'd rather have a capital ship with an extra good perk.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Tei » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:34 pm UTC

my 2 cents:

The engine feel strong solid.
The gameplay is good, not amazing, but good.
The game has deep.
Is easy to learn, hard to master, but is not a instaclassic.
There can be big games, not huge enough to me. But theres a map editor.
Graphics are good, but Homeworld ships are much better. I am a sad panda.
The shit about zooming is real. This game use the type of zoom that you see on SupCom.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:24 am UTC

It hasn't really been mentioned, but there is one very particular trait that sets this game above the vast, vast majority of others: the developers.

You may think that Valve or Bungie are responsive to the community and their ideas about a game, but Stardock has gone above and beyond on everything I've seen that they put out. Don't like how some particular gameplay feature is implemented? Tell them, and if it's a reasonable complaint, it'll be resolved. The game currently has a fixed fleet size cap based on technologies in the game. People complained that it isn't enough for a game with a hundred planets, so it is getting fixed in the next patch.

The game has been out just over a week, and the developers have already released two patches for unforseen problems. This isn't to say the game is buggy or was buggy, they just don't let problems persist, and will patch them if and when they come up.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby b.i.o » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:25 am UTC

Umlaut wrote:It hasn't really been mentioned, but there is one very particular trait that sets this game above the vast, vast majority of others: the developers.


I agree completely--they did some very very nice things with GalCivII and it looks like more of the same here, at the least.

Does their policy about not having to register the game unless you want the patches (provided you have a physical copy) hold with this game as well, because I really appreciated that with GalCivII.

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Umlaut » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:01 am UTC

As far as I can tell, you don't even have to register for patches. The serial number I got was used once to make my account to play online.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:57 pm UTC

Making multiple installs for a LAN is just as simple as patching. Just copy-paste the game between computers, then copy the shortcut to the desktop.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby ItGoesSplat » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

I've heard a lot about this game, but haven't gotten the chance to actually play. I've heard matches can take up to a month... :shock:

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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:52 pm UTC

Like many things, it depends on how often you're playing and with how many people. A 10 player game done in 30 minute-a-day blocks... yeah, that will take a month to play. Or more.
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Re: Sins of a Solar Empire

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:05 am UTC

I played for about three days straight, and then realized I hated the game.
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