First of all, an apology for a lot of text and no words. Though words well-versed may be description enough.
I lurk in these forums as much as I lurk over this great game. After a half year's respite, I decided to play it again. Be advised - I'm not a power gamer, no, more a relaxed explorer. The atmosphere of Distant Worlds provides me a good opportunity to do just that, relax.
I played three games, all under slightly differing parameters, but with one thing in common: I always gave my primary attention to lorecheology. The first was a 700-star, all normal, basic starting settings with the Dhayut, with the goal of 33% population, and with the return of (SPOILER)option. Surprisingly, the game was won easily due to several Teekan and Shandar independent colonies in vicinity. It was over with few wars, no sign of (SPOILER), and at a good distance from other competitors. The second game was played for the Quameno, using Technocracy, the size set at 1000 stars and goals modified to 35% population and inclusion of both the (SPOILER) and original storylines. Hyper-research, colony blitz and a find of WotA in Imperial Archive early in the 4-5-th year settled this game much faster. Again, no sign of (SPOILER).
The next evening I settled down to the third game, Ackdarian Democracy, both storylines and all three options set to 35%. This time the game started out more slowly, so as to lull me. No good colonies for the first year or so, limited research sites - in a word, the emp... - excuse me, democracy - took its time getting on its feet, while I, you guessed it, explored. On the 30-ish year of unhurried exploration I reached the (SPOILER) (SPOILER), netting WotA, 6 high level techs and the usual 163 system maps as a prize. By that time the galaxy was more or less partitioned, so much so, that I didn't have any of the top three, and even some of the top ten luxury resources. I was on top, but barely, with an Atuuk empire beating me in population (doh!).
Nevertheless, I continued exploring, as different small scale conflicts became the norm in Galactic relations. The main spark came with the locating of an incomplete (SPOILER) (SPOILER) in Liretur system. Naturally, everyone wanted to get it, and although I wasn't the first to the table, I had no taste for scraps. The resulting skirmishes, although won by myself and my Explorers' Collectible Dreadnought(c) fleet, led to destruction of several free trade agreements, two wars with me three years afterwards and several others (the AI
quote:), general ill-feeling and "Furious" status towards me from most of the major empires. I fell to "Evil" in their eyes.
being less forgiving (and more rash) than I am
It was then after three warnings from (SPOILER), which were successfully ignored by me (believe it or not, I had never gotten this far in this storyline before!!!), THEY arrived. And in a very "timely" manner, to a galaxy divided. Settling cozily on Roorea Prime 4, they claimed being refugees and busily started settling the neighboring systems, keeping THEIR profile real quiet like. At first.
It was almost believable (if you can't read), seeing that a Teekan Colony ship had entered the galaxy in a similar fashion some 15 years ago. So I ignored them and concentrated on repairing my (SPOILER) (SPOILER) and fighting off attacks from local fans. But gradually (well, not really), not only the economic power, but the military strength of the (SPOILER) skyrocketed. I was the first to TS them, and the first to declare war, in spite of the peace-abiding yapping of some of the members of the Galactic community. My forces were slightly outmatched, but hey, I had this huge ace in the hole being repaired on the sidelines.
Than a fourth message hit me and I was given a choice: yes or no, good or overarching evil. Since I already made a choice and didn't know exactly of what would come afterwards, I chose... yes. In that instant I received a whole fleet of excellent ships, four alliances against the (SPOILER), one of them with a race I was previously at war with, and two complementary mission goals. Oh goody, I thought, this makes my job a lot easier.
Until a second message came. The (SPOILER) revealed themselves for the sneaky sunavacocroaches they are, and threatened me and all others with weapons of mass destruction. "Oh, really?" - I thought, thinking of the ace up my sleeve. "Really." - answered THEY, and produced THREE
quote: ACES(!!!) out of nowhere in Roorea Prime. Oh, and their military might status tripled.
At this point I thought about a total restart. But a good leader doesn't leave his subjects like that. So, I thought, let's see what they would do and I could do. They - went straight for some worlds of the allied race I was at war with before. I - decided to build 50 cruisers, and to check out the diplomatic options that I had. They - totally ravage two systems and head for another - unescorted !!! I - lamely misuse the diplomacy system by giving away more than half my technological achievements to each race, thus moving their relation to me from "Furious" to the far side of "oh, Paleeeeeeeased" and moving my rep from "Evil" to "Nasty" in the process, signing a mutual defense pact and then asking them to attack the (SPOILER) at 0(doh!!!) diplomatic cost.
That helped and after two of my Cruiser reinforced fleets the enemy Aces down the holes from which they came, the theater of war began to change. Of course I had to endure the (SPOILER)s' Intelligence operations against me. Of course I had to keep monthly track of their attempts to sign a separate peace with my newly converted allies, and stimulate my "worst of friends" back to the war I bribed them to fight. After three epic evenings (and no relaxation!) the game is now in a mop-up phase, the (SPOILER) holding Roorea Prime and two more systems with sizable forces, and if it weren't for the hyperspace disruption around their planet, which led to my ace and its supporting ECD(c) fleet being badly mauled in the attempt to
quote: 5 times already, the game might have been over yesterday.
do unto them what they had done
Now don't you like it when the game does this to you?)))
Some final thoughts:
-- It does seem to me that the Return is triggered also by a certain amount of strife in the galaxy.
-- There is a typo in the name of a tropedo bomber tech.
-- An almost unrelated idea for a new superweapon: stellar converter - a fighter type projectile, relatively slowly moving, thus can be intercepted, fired at a sun, turns it into a supernova, black hole or a dust cloud, in the first two cases destroying all planets and units in the system, and damaging planets and units in surrounding systems. The ship that launched it will have a component or more damaged, and must spend a long time refitting before firing again.
-- My opponents and I did not use spies effectively. My reasons: due to my style, lack of strategical auto-advice, leading to 8 spies sitting on their butts (counter-intelligence, aha).
-- The amount of "red-alert" noise is just obnoxious. It should be limited to fleet and WD actions.
-- The amount of treaty management was almost overwhelming. I'd really love to have a "remember my last choice and keep repeating it" option for diplomacy.
< Message edited by Gareth_Bryne -- 9/20/2011 10:30:39 AM >