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Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 4:54:48 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi everyone,

Ok, here's the promised preview of what we are working on. We are still trying to get this finished for this year, but our priority is to make sure it's as good as we all want it to be, so I can't give you an exact release date yet.

The title comes from the "Age of Shadows".

<WARNING: SOME ORIGINAL DISTANT WORLDS STORY SPOILERS AHEAD>

In the original Distant Worlds, you play in a galaxy where civilizations have recently rebuilt themselves and returned to space in a galaxy that was nearly destroyed at the end of the last war against a great intergalactic foe. The time immediately after that great was was known as the Age of Darkness. During this time, there was very little left of the previous galactic civilizations. In addition to a few survivors on planets and colonies here and there, a very few survived on ships and remote stations. Many who survived the end of the war did not survive long into the future, but others managed to find a way. Generation after generation passed, even among the long-lived species.

In these early days, the survivors who had escaped the near-extermination of galactic life with some technology intact, especially those who still had working stations or ships and knowledge from the old empires, were in a better position than most on the planets, where the devastation and regression to a near-primitive state had been nearly complete and in many cases the plagues of the past war still periodically returned. Space seemed a much safer place to many.

During the Age of Darkness, these space-based survivors who still had the means (although in many cases limited and often decreasing with each generation) to travel space searched the galaxy for other remnants of civilization and the means to keep their technology working. In some cases, they formed beneficial relationship with those who were left here and there on the planets, even helping them to develop and rebuild. In other cases, they raided the planets and their remaining populations and took what they needed as plunder. Often, it was a bit of both.

Eventually, the balance of power began to shift. The space-based survivors had developed their own empires of sorts, usually as traders, warlords or pirates. Despite their access to some of the old technologies, their numbers remained few and the planets began to exert greater control over their own destinies. Some had even developed populations and civilization to the point where they were able to contest control over their local space. This is the Age of Shadows, in between the Age of Darkness and the Distant Worlds galaxy as you have known it to date.

What were previously "pirates" are now independent space-based factions that can pursue a variety of playstyles, ranging from trade, war and espionage to pure chaos and plunder.

</END STORY SPOILERS>

Note, I still can't tell you _everything_ but here are some substantive highlights:

- Play as an independent space-based faction, a very different play experience from the existing "Empire" gameplay.
-- Choose from several playstyles, including Smuggler, Pirate and Mercenary.
-- Compete in victory conditions against other space-based factions.
-- New Pirate Leader and Pirate Captain characters
- Choose to play in the existing Distant Worlds timeline or the pre-hyperspace "Age of Shadows"
- Assault pods and ship to ship or base boarding actions, including ship and base capture
- Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams
- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen
-- Infantry, Armor/Mech, Special Forces, Planetary Defense Units (multi-layered)
-- Resolution of the multiple stages of a planetary assault
-- Expanded troop experience
-- New Ground Combat technology tree
- Expanded and improved Area Weapons
- New planetary facilities
- Improved AI and new comprehensive difficulty settings

I hope that helps.

Regards,

- Erik



< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 11/1/2012 5:40:04 AM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 6:25:04 AM   
Hawawaa


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Heck ya! I was about to go to bed but I'm so glad I dropped by to see this. Thank You!

Take your time. I'm in no hurry. (Though I would like to preorder)

Looks like another kick ass expansion.

Time to spread the news to other forums.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 6:38:07 AM   
Haree78


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Sounds glorious. I am extremely excited for this expansion now.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 6:48:16 AM   
Grotius


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Sounds great!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 7:44:59 AM   
Data


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quote:

I hope that helps


The understatement / teaser of the year

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 7:46:11 AM   
Velihopea


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen
-- Infantry, Armor/Mech, Special Forces, Planetary Defense Units (multi-layered)
-- Resolution of the multiple stages of a planetary assault
-- Expanded troop experience
-- New Ground Combat technology tree
- Improved AI and new comprehensive difficulty settings


Expansion of ground combat sounds very good addition. I'm glad to see that it improves a lot with separate resolution screen and especially multi-stage combat. Was worried that we would only get some new units and buildings, but clearly my worries was proven wrong.

Cannot picture exactly how the factions will play out, but I'm excited to see what comes about.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 8:14:37 AM   
Sithuk

 

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1. Can we set global minimum troop levels and alter those on a planet specific basis to stop auto troop transports stripping front line planets?
2. Can we now set filters for the "under attack" warning so we don't get continually spammed by it?
3. Can we upgrade spaceports not based around planets?
4. Will the AI code be opened up to allow the community to mod it?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 8:47:05 AM   
Darkspire


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Looks good.

Just hope the game UI is going to get a polish and some tidy up. That list on the left of the main game screen is next to useless mid game onwards, sort filters would be a good start. There are a few other things I hope to be ironed out but ill post on the wishlist.

Darkspire

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 8:56:46 AM   
Evrett


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Data


quote:

I hope that helps


The understatement / teaser of the year


Erm..I have no interest in any of these features. How sad.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 9:01:09 AM   
Velihopea


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Evrett
Erm..I have no interest in any of these features. How sad.


Not even the improved AI?? I thought everybody always wanted the AI improved?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 9:40:00 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I am not sure about the faction thing, could be more or less good. The "pre hyperspace" setting sounds like a very different thing than the "old game".

The troop changes are welcome, and you doubt planetary defense forces travel anywhere. I figure it could be about infantry/armor to battle defense units. I am a bit worried that the split in forces could give new logistical headaches, though.

I always like new (better) AI, and expanded difficulty choices.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 9:59:46 AM   
bryanhbell

 

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Thanks for the info, Erik! I see this news is already popping up on gaming sites.

The ground combat stuff sounds the most exciting to me. That's one of those big features present in the older games like Master Of Orion or Galactic Civilizations that you rarely see in modern 4x space games.

< Message edited by bryanhbell -- 11/1/2012 10:02:28 AM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 10:16:27 AM   
Modest

 

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Great News! :)

Now, while changes to the ground combat are great, and I am very happy about it, thing which mostly took my attention are space based factions :) For a very long time I wanted to be able to build "secret" empire in dead space, far from any solar system (with exeption of mining stations that is). Now maybe I will be able to! :D :D :D Also boarding actions sounds very interesting :)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 10:30:11 AM   
adecoy95


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i look forward to hearing more about this "pre-hyperspace" era

ground combat additions are meh to me

new area weapons are nice, the ones in game right now are not all that useful

other features i cant say i am too super interested in, pirate faction might be neat, but it depends on how it plays

ai improvments will mean i will probably buy it tho, but it depends on what else im playing when it comes out, star drive is looking pretty dang amazing

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 10:48:19 AM   
hewwo

 

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ground combat! Yes! this will make the game much cooler (for me at least)!


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 10:49:56 AM   
HectorOfTroy


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Thanks for the update :). I'm looking to spending some money on this :).

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 10:58:03 AM   
WoodMan


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I think it sounds like a brilliant feature list! I'm not surprised things have been a little slower than with the previous two expansions because it sounds like there are some rather comprehensive changes coming, I'm especially surprised to see such a massive overhaul of the ground combat system is coming. This should make things much more interesting. Also looking forward to seeing the AI/difficulty changes.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 12:25:50 PM   
AminMaalouf

 

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boarding

------------

"Commander! Shields are down on 5%."
"Give out the close combat gear! We ferry over and take one of those Mk 5 chitin battlecruiser from the insects homeward."

Cool, we get another add.



< Message edited by AminMaalouf -- 11/1/2012 12:39:39 PM >

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 12:55:52 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Thanks for the info. All sounds interesting to me, I'm eager to see the details once it materializes!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 1:13:44 PM   
AndonSage


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Thanks for the info :)

Space Strategy Sector has posted this news, also

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 2:09:43 PM   
pipewrench


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During the Age of Darkness, these space-based survivors who still had the means (although in many cases limited and often decreasing with each generation) to travel space searched the galaxy for other remnants of civilization and the means to keep their technology working. In some cases, they formed beneficial relationship with those who were left here and there on the planets, even helping them to develop and rebuild. In other cases, they raided the planets and their remaining populations and took what they needed as plunder. Often, it was a bit of both.

Treasure hunting.....hmmmm

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 2:29:20 PM   
StarLab


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Wow! I just got used to the game as it is now! Looks like I'll have to take another couple weeks off work once this comes out. lol

Sounds like a great expansion. Can't wait! :)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 2:47:43 PM   
Malevolence


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Looks great!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 2:55:09 PM   
Velihopea


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AndonSage
Space Strategy Sector has posted this news, also


And quite advertising and praise for DW in general at the end:
"And, if you’re new to the brilliant Distant Worlds Universe have a look at my Distant Worlds: Legends review, the second and previous expansion for Distant Worlds, to find out the best space 4X gaming experience of the recent years."

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 4:46:30 PM   
Shark7


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And now the questions you knew I'd ask...

1. How will this affect our current mods? IE will they still work?
2. Will there be any changes to the mod structure?
3. Will new independent factions be based on current races, or can they have their own shipsets and characters/images?
4. Will there be new research techs given the new ground forces?
5. Will any additional areas of the game be open to modding?

Now with all the questions done, I will say I am very happy with the chance to play as a pirate and/or smuggler and capture ships. I'm guessing I can build up a pirate fleet and new bases to further my pillaging aspirations.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 6:20:41 PM   
Haree78


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
1. How will this affect our current mods? IE will they still work?
2. Will there be any changes to the mod structure?


From experience this wont be answered until very close to release but rest assured this will be a big thing for me in testing.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 6:21:51 PM   
Kayoz


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I hope some thought has gone into pricing, so that this expansion appeals to gamers new to DW and not only the existing customer base.



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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 7:05:03 PM   
pipewrench


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+1

Even if Matrix cannot get the new expansion out in time for the Christmas sale, it would be nice to offer a pre-order sale that discounts the existing game to new players with Shadows included.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 7:16:09 PM   
tjhkkr


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Ummmm.
Wow.

I hope some of these Space Faring race/Empires you speak of can be imported into the current game.
I think this fits the 'Trade Federation' very well.

Thank you very much, Erik.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/1/2012 7:42:39 PM   
Yskonyn


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Wow, that is seriously great news, Erik!
Super excited for what comes!

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