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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows

 
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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 5:54:36 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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New Boarding and Capture policy options.






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 5:55:51 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Some of the new Planetary Facilities (which now also cost maintenance - the late game economy in general is much more in balance after a variety of adjustments during Shadows development).






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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 5:57:51 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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And finally, the first implementation of interface scaling. Please look at the bottom left information display and compare it in size to the other screenshots. The new two way arrow button in the top left of that display toggles it between the larger size for easier to read text and the smaller size to see more of the map.







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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 6:11:56 PM   
Simulation01


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It looks like empires are now able to "gift" ships. Also, from that last image it looked as though planet based empires can issue their own missions for others to consider. Is that accurate?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 6:18:21 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
It looks like empires are now able to "gift" ships. Also, from that last image it looked as though planet based empires can issue their own missions for others to consider. Is that accurate?


All Empires can now request assistance through Attack, Defense and Smuggling missions. Pirate Empires can accept all these missions, all empire types can issue them. As a planetary empire, you can enlist those mercenary-oriented space factions to help you in your wars much more directly and precisely than before. As a pirate empire, your reputation with planetary empires will increase as you successfully perform these missions. You can also commission them yourself and try to coordinate a massive attack on a planetary civilization from several pirate factions at a time, if you have the money and influence to do so. Smuggling missions can be for a specific resource or for any that are in shortage, with a bonus paid to smugglers for each unit delivered. Smuggler and Mercenary style pirates can use these missions to create a positive/honorable playstyle as well, if they so choose, working together with planetary empires and building up trust. You can also use them to bring your enemies to their knees.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 6:31:54 PM   
Webbco


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Wow, you seem to have added a lot of new features in this expansion at the same time as trying to address some of the major requested improvements! This looks fantastic, thanks Erik for the update, it's really appreciated!

I really hope you can find a way to promote this game in slightly more mainstream circles to coincide with the release of the expansion as I'm sure there are many that would be interested in such an immersive real-time 4X game such as this. To be honest, it somewhat surprises me that the likes of PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun haven't posted a single article about this game.

Anyway, very excited about this being released soon...

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 6:44:11 PM   
Simulation01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
It looks like empires are now able to "gift" ships. Also, from that last image it looked as though planet based empires can issue their own missions for others to consider. Is that accurate?


All Empires can now request assistance through Attack, Defense and Smuggling missions. Pirate Empires can accept all these missions, all empire types can issue them. As a planetary empire, you can enlist those mercenary-oriented space factions to help you in your wars much more directly and precisely than before. As a pirate empire, your reputation with planetary empires will increase as you successfully perform these missions. You can also commission them yourself and try to coordinate a massive attack on a planetary civilization from several pirate factions at a time, if you have the money and influence to do so. Smuggling missions can be for a specific resource or for any that are in shortage, with a bonus paid to smugglers for each unit delivered. Smuggler and Mercenary style pirates can use these missions to create a positive/honorable playstyle as well, if they so choose, working together with planetary empires and building up trust. You can also use them to bring your enemies to their knees.

Regards,

- Erik




Awesome! Sounds like it's gonna be fun! At the risk of exceeding my question quota .... how does the sphere of influence and prate empires interact? Do prate factions also have their own sphere of influence (here there be pirates! Argh!)?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 6:49:20 PM   
ASHBERY76


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That weapons tech tree really should be split into two as its getting huge.The A.I struggles to pick clever routes even with policy priority in Legends so I wonder if they will even use these cool new mechanics for most games as there are too many options and paths.A new defence tree needs to be added I think.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:13:06 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
Awesome! Sounds like it's gonna be fun! At the risk of exceeding my question quota .... how does the sphere of influence and prate empires interact? Do prate factions also have their own sphere of influence (here there be pirates! Argh!)?


Pirates empires only have influence within their own systems rather than a sphere of influence, unless they manage to be very successful and transition to planetary empires through the full control of colonies. In that case, they get a normal sphere of influence that works like that for the other empires.

They get annoyed with you if you are interested in the same systems and colonies they are interested in, but they don't have "borders" the way a normal empire does until they actually get full colonies (they start out entirely space-based, think tens of thousands of survivors per faction, rather than the millions on the planets).

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:14:46 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
That weapons tech tree really should be split into two as its getting huge.The A.I struggles to pick clever routes even with policy priority in Legends so I wonder if they will even use these cool new mechanics for most games as there are too many options and paths.A new defence tree needs to be added I think.


The AI in Shadows is significantly better at focusing its tech research and we're continuing to improve it in that area. I've seen it setup good defenses as well as good invasions (the latter is an area we're continuing to improve as well) and make good use of boarding and capture of ships and stations. I'd say our highest remaining priority is bug-fixing and continuing AI improvements up until release.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:16:59 PM   
Simulation01


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
Awesome! Sounds like it's gonna be fun! At the risk of exceeding my question quota .... how does the sphere of influence and prate empires interact? Do prate factions also have their own sphere of influence (here there be pirates! Argh!)?


Pirates empires only have influence within their own systems rather than a sphere of influence, unless they manage to be very successful and transition to planetary empires through the full control of colonies. In that case, they get a normal sphere of influence that works like that for the other empires.

They get annoyed with you if you are interested in the same systems and colonies they are interested in, but they don't have "borders" the way a normal empire does until they actually get full colonies (they start out entirely space-based, think tens of thousands of survivors per faction, rather than the millions on the planets).

Regards,

- Erik




Thanks Erik! I relinquish the question baton to others now....

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:26:14 PM   
ASHBERY76


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How is the actual battle simulated.Do you control units.Does the army land in random spot intervals on the planet grid or in a formation.What makes the A.I decide to choose which targets.How long is does a standard invasion last ingame time.Does planetary defence effectively become obsolete with special forces.

Why are Sluken infantry fighting in the ocean

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:33:12 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
Why are Sluken infantry fighting in the ocean


The truth is revealed! They're not insects, they're lobsters!

Love all the new stuff, and... interface scaling! Woo!


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 7:33:19 PM   
robc04

 

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The interface scaling looks better. Do the resource (and other) icons in the selection box scale too?

Has there been a rebalancing of strategic resources so it isn't as easy to get everything that is needed?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 8:33:46 PM   
Webbco


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

Why are Sluken infantry fighting in the ocean


Probably not the reason but remember that, according to the Galactopedia, Sluken take body parts from other species and attach them to themselves...maybe this is how they are able to launch an amphibious attack?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 8:46:42 PM   
Tampa_Gamer


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Thanks for the updated screenshots, this expansion sounds great but you already had my cash at the words "expanded ground combat." I had/still have high hopes for StarDrive to iron out the kinks in their ground combat model but we will see...

One question that I haven't seen answered yet - with the advent of combined arms, etc. Will we be able to choose particular ground combat units to load into transports (not just % of force picks)?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 9:57:28 PM   
Hawawaa


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Thank you for the huge info dump. Been spreading the word around. Can't wait to get it.

Also classes are done end of April and my birthday is May 8. That would be a good time to launch.

But seriously take your time and thank you!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:15:15 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi Ashbery76,

quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
How is the actual battle simulated.Do you control units.Does the army land in random spot intervals on the planet grid or in a formation.What makes the A.I decide to choose which targets.How long is does a standard invasion last ingame time.Does planetary defence effectively become obsolete with special forces.


It's similar to space combat in Distant Worlds. You don't fly individual ships and you don't tell individual troops what to do, but you setup the force you want and send it into combat. Ground combat in DW was originally extremely simplified. Every unit on each side shot at one unit on the opposite side and the last side with units remaining won. There was only one troop type.

There are now multiple troop types. Each have differences in terms of attack vs. defense, transport size and maintenance and how they target. Generals now also have skills and bonuses related to specific troop types, so you may have a "Patton" type general who is great with Armor and build a specialized army around him, or another who is better with Special Forces, or Planetary Defense. In addition, there are bonuses related to superiority in certain categories, for example having much more armor than your opponent can give you an armored breakthrough which increases the effectiveness of your entire force, similarly unopposed special forces, overwhelming numbers of infantry or control of local space around the planet can all influence combat. Trying to land on a planet without taking out the space defenses and planetary defenses ia also much more difficult now, your force will get hammered during the landing phase.

If you see an enemy force with lots of armor, be sure to bring some of your own. Similarly if you see Planetary Defenses or Special Forces, bring some Special Forces of your own. There's no "one size fits all" solution, you need the right force for each battle if you want the best chance of success, just as you have to counter advantages in ship design and technology in your planning and execution of space combat.

The tech tree lets you decide where to focus. The ground combat tree is pretty large, though there are branches that don't directly boost each troop type, they give you other advantages. Each troop type does have a branch so if you want to have the best infantry, or the best srmor, you can do that. Being the best at all areas of ground combat requires a very significant commitment, but it can make taking enemy worlds intact much easier.

The value of an intact world is much, much greater than that of a damaged, "bombed back to the stone age" planet, but bombardment tech is also less expensive to pursue (and also doesn't help you with your own defense against planetary invasion) so choose carefully which route you take.

One other thing you'll notice in Shadows is that the total number of troops is about half what it was in previous versions of Distant Worlds. Troops are much more interesting and important, but also more expensive. The number of troops you have to manage will be closer to the number of ships rather than the vast numbers they could at times reach before. There is one branch, improved logistics, that can significantly decrease troop maintenance for those who believe in mass quantities.

Special forces do not make Planetary Defenses obsolete, but an invasion against Planetary Defenses is definitely easier if you bring along some Special Forces. The best counter to them is to have some Special Forces of your own, but any units on the planet will try to defend your facilities and planetary defense units against attacks by enemy Special Forces. They make your success against Planetary Defenses more likely, but they do not completely neutralize them.

quote:

Why are Sluken infantry fighting in the ocean


The water's nice, come on in.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:20:12 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: robc04
The interface scaling looks better. Do the resource (and other) icons in the selection box scale too?


Yes, everything in the selection box gets larger when you increase its size.

quote:

Has there been a rebalancing of strategic resources so it isn't as easy to get everything that is needed?


Many, many changes have had many effects on the overall economic and resource balance and which era you choose to play in and how many pirates and empires are competing with you (and what you have the new difficulty slider set to) makes a big difference. For the best experience with limited resources, play in the Age of Shadows as either a planetary or pirate empire on the Hard difficulty (or higher) after release and let me know how you find it.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:21:44 PM   
Tampa_Gamer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

One other thing you'll notice in Shadows is that the total number of troops is about half what it was in previous versions of Distant Worlds. Troops are much more interesting and important, but also more expensive. The number of troops you have to manage will be closer to the number of ships rather than the vast numbers they could at times reach before. There is one branch, improved logistics, that can significantly decrease troop maintenance for those who believe in mass quantities.



This is a great change, I always felt the scale was a bit off and less units to micro on both sides is always better. This way a unit that gains experience and participates in several campaigns can be meaningful and rewards the player.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:22:02 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tampa_Gamer
One question that I haven't seen answered yet - with the advent of combined arms, etc. Will we be able to choose particular ground combat units to load into transports (not just % of force picks)?


Between the load-outs and the garrison/ungarrison feature, I haven't had any trouble getting the exact troops I want onto my transports.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:23:28 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tampa_Gamer
This is a great change, I always felt the scale was a bit off and less units to micro on both sides is always better. This way a unit that gains experience and participates in several campaigns can be meaningful and rewards the player.


The new Ship Captains also give an interesting new bit of ship detail if you enjoy keeping track of individual units and as they gain experience they can transition to Fleet Admirals as well.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/5/2013 11:49:51 PM   
Webbco


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Clearly a lot has been added in this expansion, but one thing I would love to see is some further diversification in terms of gameplay between races. Is there any significant differences in e.g. ground combat in this respect?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 12:14:25 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Webbco
Clearly a lot has been added in this expansion, but one thing I would love to see is some further diversification in terms of gameplay between races. Is there any significant differences in e.g. ground combat in this respect?


The species/government combination already has an effect on base troop strength, maintenance costs, recruitment, etc. That difference is magnified with the other changes to ground combat and the new ground combat tech options. In addition, each species (and the pirate raiders) have their own unique species-specific art for each troop type (you can see some of these variations in the screenshots). I'd like to give special thanks to Kalthaniell, who is also known in our mod forum here, and is the artist who worked with us on the new ground combat art.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 4:41:30 AM   
unclean

 

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Can't wait to play around with ground combat and gravitic beams. Awesomeness.

Only issue is that this:




Is 1997 Geocities levels of eye searing, hopefully it gets tweaked before release. (edit: nevermind, someone brought this up in the other thread)

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< Message edited by unclean -- 4/6/2013 4:55:14 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 4:45:27 AM   
feelotraveller


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I note that Garn 2 in the planetary facilities screenshot has 6 resources!  So this is possible now, I haven't seen it before.  Is it standard(ish) or does it need a special event adding an extra resource?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 9:09:50 AM   
Kruos


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Thank Erik for the infos, it looks very promising! Cant wait :)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 10:17:09 AM   
Buio


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Thanks for the images and information, can't wait to play the new expansion!

< Message edited by Buio -- 4/6/2013 10:18:20 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 11:10:25 AM   
Velihopea


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Sounds good. I've got a top tier PC, but DW starts slowing down considerably in mid-game. Has the game got significant improvements in this area?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 4/6/2013 12:56:08 PM   
Buio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Velihopea
Sounds good. I've got a top tier PC, but DW starts slowing down considerably in mid-game. Has the game got significant improvements in this area?


According to the product page and other posts on the forum, the engine is optimized and faster. How much, I guess we will have to wait and see.

http://www.matrixgames.com/products/466/details/Distant.Worlds-.Shadows
"Distant Worlds: Shadows also includes an updated and improved graphical engine that allows for much better performance in the epic 1,000+ star galaxies that many Distant Worlds fans enjoy."


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