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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows

 
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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/8/2012 8:03:41 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
I would be surprised if the later game issues are mostly memory related. I don't get issues late game personally by the way.

There are a few threads in the tech support forum where people are playing on a large galaxy and unable to finish the game due memory limits.

I hope zooming doesn't require dynamic memory allocation - that would be horribly inefficient! That said, it's a small team developing it, so I don't expect his graphics implementation to be as slick as Skyrim. But nor will I deny the presence of abundant low-hanging-fruit where dramatic improvements could be made.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/8/2012 9:01:59 PM   
Haree78


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Well there shouldn't be leaks that can't be solved by restarting and loading the save game. If that doesn't solve it then it isn't leaks.
Willing to concede there could be memory issues, but probably managing not hitting limits is the issue. I've never had it and I always play BIG games with my Extended mod.
I know before I reduced the size of the ships in the mod I was getting crashes so there is definitely issues there. A lot of the mods released increase the size of images used so undoubtedly some of the crashes are related to that.

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Post #: 92
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/8/2012 9:39:37 PM   
Shark7


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If folks are playing on a Win XP 32 bit system, then they can hit memory issues. On a 64 bit system, I have never had a memory issue.

In other words, the memory problem is Windows (especially 32 bit versions), since Windows essentially is a memory leak.

BTW, specs for those interested since I never have memory issues even on 1400 star galaxies with 30 AI empires:

Win 7 64 bit
Core I-7
16 GB RAM
Radeon 7770 Video 1 GB DDR3 Video RAM

So yes, I have a high end machine and no problems, but back when I ran a single core machine with Win XP 32 and only 2 of RAM, I hit memory issues on 1400 star galaxies (basically 700 was my limit on that old machine).

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Post #: 93
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/8/2012 10:15:26 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78

Well there shouldn't be leaks that can't be solved by restarting and loading the save game. If that doesn't solve it then it isn't leaks.


Memory fragmentation, not leak. Different things. I think Elliot has nailed most of the leaks - but fragmentation is how he's handling memory.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

If folks are playing on a Win XP 32 bit system, then they can hit memory issues. On a 64 bit system, I have never had a memory issue.


Doesn't matter. It's how it's compiled (32 v 64), not your OS. DW is compiled for 32-bit and doesn't take advantage of the larger memory address space of 64-bit memory addressing.

As a quick little experiment, I ask that you try to load Leon's tiny save game file.

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Post #: 94
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/8/2012 11:39:57 PM   
Haree78


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz


quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78

Well there shouldn't be leaks that can't be solved by restarting and loading the save game. If that doesn't solve it then it isn't leaks.


Memory fragmentation, not leak. Different things. I think Elliot has nailed most of the leaks - but fragmentation is how he's handling memory.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

If folks are playing on a Win XP 32 bit system, then they can hit memory issues. On a 64 bit system, I have never had a memory issue.


Doesn't matter. It's how it's compiled (32 v 64), not your OS. DW is compiled for 32-bit and doesn't take advantage of the larger memory address space of 64-bit memory addressing.

As a quick little experiment, I ask that you try to load Leon's tiny save game file.


I'll try it at some point, off to watch some TV.

But what do you mean by fragmentation? What difference does that make in RAM?

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Post #: 95
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/9/2012 12:48:17 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
But what do you mean by fragmentation? What difference does that make in RAM?


Every time your program requests memory from the heap, the operating system (hopefully) returns (a pointer to) that block of memory - till it's released, at which time it's returned to the heap and can be reused. Now, this seems fine and dandy if you need to allocate 10 blocks, use them and then free them - but if you're doing this 100 million times, it becomes troublesome because the operating system must find a contiguous block of memory of that size. You might have enough memory, but it's all chopped up into little bits smaller than the requested size because you've had a lot of little requests which haven't been released.

As an analogy, let's say you have a train that's 2/3 full. You're checking in with your wife and 2 kids - so you ask for 4 seats together. The conductor says no (out of memory) - there's no 4 seats together available on the tran. It's only 2/3 full, so there's far more than 4 seats - but because people have gotten on and off and the seat usage is as a result spread out.

A memory pool ameliorates this problem by pre-allocating the amount of expected memory usage and having requests go to that pool instead of the OS memory manager. The down-side of this is that it can be more processor intensive and will inevitably need some tweaking. If you've played Civilization, you'll notice that it blocks further unit builds at a certain point, so you have to disband a unit or destroy on opposing (not sure here - might be per-faction) if you want to make a new one. Leon's save-game file seems to indicate that DW doesn't use a pool, but just keeps allocating - till it goes bang because it's out of memory. My problems with fragmentation was from running a long game and being able to continue it after a crash that reported the process being out of memory.

This differs from a "memory leak" where the analogous seat is taken - then taken again and again and again. A passenger gets on and off - and each time he's given a new seat - and his old seat remains tagged as his. This happens when the programmer fails to free (for a variety of reasons) the allocated block of memory when he's done with it.

Apologies in advance for my crude explanation. Here's a link that can serve as a beginning if you're interested in reading up on it. As well, I can't be certain how much use a custom memory pool would be to DW - but given the memory problems, something I think Elliot should consider. But regardless of the "best solution" used, I think that the current method of DW crashing is a poor way of handling the memory problem. It can be more than a bit annoying to a player who's put several hours into that game.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 11/9/2012 12:50:54 AM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/9/2012 1:48:29 AM   
JosEPh_II


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Looks to be another Fun addition to the DW family.

Gound Combat is a + for me.
Factions +
New background story +

Actually so far I don't see any - .

JosEPh

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Post #: 97
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/9/2012 9:29:48 AM   
Haree78


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Ah so I think you are saying that memory fragmentation might be causing inefficiency and filling up memory where a memory pool could be more efficient? Nothing to do with contiguous reading of RAM which I assumed you meant. Yes I see now, that might be the case.

I guess Elliot would know better than us whether that could be happening, I think I wouldn't recommend memory pools unless it definitely will solve anything. From my understanding you aren't advised to allocate huge chunks of memory on the heap in a managed environment.

PS Sorry I mentioned memory leaks, I could have sworn you said leaks, looking back I can't see you saying it.

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Post #: 98
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/9/2012 11:01:25 AM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
I guess Elliot would know better than us whether that could be happening, I think I wouldn't recommend memory pools unless it definitely will solve anything. From my understanding you aren't advised to allocate huge chunks of memory on the heap in a managed environment.


Elliot would know better?

Yup. It's a guess. Without running the code through a profiler, there's no way of telling if it will help or not. The basis for my recommending that he look into it is a complete wild arse guess backed by nothing more than a handful of anecdotal examples. I freely admit such... unlike some who claim to have "facts" which turn out to be as reliable as a Nostradamus prophecy.

But then again, I'd also suggest he rewrite it in Lisp. There's something gleefully wicked about a language where you can overload whitespace. Not all my suggestions, as you might guess, are all that great.

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Post #: 99
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/10/2012 6:41:09 AM   
Kayoz


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Missed two...

11. event messages
Please colour code them and allow the user to filter by type. For example, constructor messages in yellow, ignore all explorer messages, and all military ship messages in red. I really don't think there's anything to be gained from spamming the user with messages that his freighters are under attack. Surely allowing the player to have these messages not show up at all, would be a simple task in terms of code. Colour change to the text or an icon on the left per message - either would do.

12. contraband
Rare or produced resources that can, with risk of reputation and diplomatic hit, be sold at absurd profits to a neighbour. Columbia. Nuff said.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 11/10/2012 6:46:04 AM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/10/2012 11:27:54 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I think you can turn off quite a lot of messages in the filters. I am not sure you can filter civilian attacks specifically, though.

What I miss sometimes is a ship type indicator in the message itself. I am only so-so to separate between explorers, cruisers, and freighters by ship name. In general I am more interested if a carrier of a fleet is under attack, than if an explorer was found by a space slug.

For message spam I would prefer if there could be some grouping of similar messages, but I guess it is hard for the game to predict that another 15 build complete messages are right around the corner.

As for message I want, I quite frequently wait for ship builds to complete, and being able to tag a specific one to display a popup on completion would not hurt. And also, actually, tag a ship/fleet order to flag loudly when it completes (for instance when sending multiple fleets to a crap star system near the objective to gather for attack).

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/10/2012 1:33:31 PM   
Ralzakark


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A few questions:

1. Shadows is set before the original DW and its expansions. If you play long enough will the timeframes run together, so that you can continue from the age of Pirates into the age of Empires?

2. Given the background will there be new technology which is more basic than the current lowest level in Legends, for example weaker blasters and slower engines?

3. Will you still be able to play in the DW timeframe, so play against the current background but with the new technologies and enhancements to ground combat?

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Post #: 102
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/10/2012 3:54:34 PM   
Anthropoid


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Just a quick comment here. I don't keep up with DW and haven't really read this thread closely so my apologies if my comment is somewhat off-base.

I think the inclusion of boarding actions and more detailed ground combat are FANTASTIC. With the implicit release date of end of 2012 maybe my suggestion is kinda useless, as maybe the design is all done. But . . .

There was a game years ago by Sid Meier's "Pirates!" was the name of it. Not sure if it still sells or maybe you can even find it for free. I think the game might have aged rather well, even by todays standards as it managed to blend together five or more different gameplay interfaces into one very compelling game.

1. A strategic map of the Caribbean in which the player could assembly a naval force, and visit locations on that map.
2. An isometric view land-map interaction system in which the player could disembark landing parties and approach settlments from inland, hunt for buried treasure, visit land-based quest locations, etc.
3. An alterante isometric/first person view naval battle map that matched up (for the most part) to the strategic map. Basically intercept or get intercepted by another fleet on the strategic map = naval map activates. The naval battles in this game were amazing.
4. A city espionage map. Basically you could try to sneak into a town even if you were a wanted criminal.
5. Various "in-town" interaction maps (courting the Governors daughter, dancing to impress the Governor'd daughter, etc.)
6. Sword fights, both on ships and in certain land-based contexts (e.g., fighting over a woman)

Now most of this is really not applicable to DW, obviously, except to point out that: a game that offers a player the opporunity to interface BETWEEN what are effectively multiple different games can be a real success. Another example of this are the Western Civilization games like Forge of Freedom which use both a strategic map and a tactical battles map.

But here comes the real value of maybe some folks going back and having a play at Pirates! if nothing else just for nostalgia, but perhaps as a way to generate new ideas:

7. A city attack map. If you attempted to attack a town, it would prompt a semi-randomized grid map to generate. Your soldiers would spawn on the far side of this 30x30 (or thereabouts) map. The battles were both amazingly simple, amazingly historically accurate, and fun. It certainly wasn't "The Operational Art of War" by any means, but for a game in which the player aspired to be the greatest Caribbean Pirate ever, this little "land-combat mini-game" was FANTASTIC.

In sum, it added a great deal to the game, despite the fact that it was really very simple. By virtue of being simple, the algorithms behind the AI must've been pretty straightforward and the AI could actually give you a run for your money sometimes.

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Post #: 103
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/10/2012 8:57:16 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
I think you can turn off quite a lot of messages in the filters. I am not sure you can filter civilian attacks specifically, though.

No, you can only turn off scrolling messages for attacks. There's no granularity for ship type, much less civilian/military.

Me, I don't care if my mining ships or freighters are under attack - as there's nothing I can do and don't particularly care. Attacks on my constructors, ports and military ships, however, are more likely to be of interest.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
For message spam I would prefer if there could be some grouping of similar messages

Don't think it can be done, given the current event hooks.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
As for message I want, I quite frequently wait for ship builds to complete, and being able to tag a specific one to display a popup on completion would not hurt.

Excellent point. An explicit notification when a ship is built or mission completed - but not for ALL such events, would be welcome.

Why you can't queue orders for colony ships is frankly bizarre. I have to send it to refuel say at a midpoint to where I want it to colonize - then assuming I remember - click on it again and tell it to colonize. Why can I queue with a constructor - but this ability has been explicitly removed for colony ships?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 1:04:49 AM   
tjhkkr


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid
There was a game years ago by Sid Meier's "Pirates!"


Man that guy was talented.

Elliot here is a real trooper, and fantastically skilled.
But Sid Meier... the kind of game you describe is not one of his usual kinds... I would be curious to know how many titles that guy has produced.


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 10:57:39 AM   
Bingeling

 

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quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
For message spam I would prefer if there could be some grouping of similar messages

Don't think it can be done, given the current event hooks.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling
As for message I want, I quite frequently wait for ship builds to complete, and being able to tag a specific one to display a popup on completion would not hurt.

Excellent point. An explicit notification when a ship is built or mission completed - but not for ALL such events, would be welcome.

Why you can't queue orders for colony ships is frankly bizarre. I have to send it to refuel say at a midpoint to where I want it to colonize - then assuming I remember - click on it again and tell it to colonize. Why can I queue with a constructor - but this ability has been explicitly removed for colony ships?

It could be that queuing is specifically turned on for construction ships...

I find I miss "tagging missions to make noise on completion" when I have some special manual thing going on. Refueling colony ship. Running either a scanning or a brute force search for pirates/other. When doing random mops of mining bases in war sending small fleets to systems that could either be empty, or systems where you don't want to hang around for long. And once in a blue moon I have constructors of special interest.

Gather multiple messages in one line could be possible with some message buffering, but I am not sure if a small delay in messages would be something the user notices too much. I am quite good at ignoring attack messages, anyways. I do care about early game attacks in freighters, and in general attack on mining ships, though. Those are noise that will be repeated, and created by wildlife that should be killed. For explorers I only care about attacks involving Silvermist.

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Post #: 106
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 4:14:19 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

It could be that queuing is specifically turned on for construction ships...


Nope. Just disabled for colony ships. You can queue orders for any other non-civilian ship. Constructor, destroyer, explorer, etc - just, for some inexplicable reason, not colony ships.

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Post #: 107
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 5:22:03 PM   
Kayoz


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13. ship design cleanup

requested changes:
a) inclusion of required components should be done automatically. All ships, regardless of type require a few components - command center, one generator, one fuel storage, etc. Why force the player to peck through the list for these REQUIRED bits? If you have researched others, then you should be free to swap them out - but I'm guessing that most players will only research one line of engines and use them on all their designs. Another example, say I'm designing a colony ship - why is it that I have to peck through the list for the colony module??? It's required by it's role - so pecking through the list for it (and there's only ONE to choose from, realistically) is a complete waste of time. Other bits, like the first reactor, the command center and the first fuel cell are mandatory. Forcing the player to peck through the list of components that are REQUIRED is a waste of time. How does forcing a player to do this add to the depth or enjoyment of the game?
b) group component types visually by type - they're arranged by type in a list, but this should be made more explicit. Using the first few pixels of each component to form a colour ribbon is one potential method. That way, for example, all weapons would have the first few pixels of the component showing red - so the weapons section of the list shows up as a vertical red ribbon, followed by another colour based on what's next.
c) remove irrelevant component types from the list - mining stations and space port design should not even present the hyper drives to you. Selecting this as a component should not be possible.
d) redundant components - once you have a medical or recreation center in the design, further components of that type are utterly pointless (redundancy in the case of one being destroyed aside, but I suspect that's incredibly rare). Same applies for hyper drive, command center, etc. Once a component of this type has been added, further additions of the same type should be removed from the left hand side selection list. What is to be gained by confusing new players who might try to add a dozen recreation centers, and are confused when their design costs more, but does the same job as the one with only one recreation center. Remove this confusion by removing it from the list.
e) Please remove the automatic "obsolete" flag every time I cancel a manual upgrade. This bug has been in the design screen since the first release and has never been fixed.

< Message edited by Kayoz -- 11/11/2012 5:49:15 PM >


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 6:49:39 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Once in a while I have some fancy dreams about a future design setup.

Some functionality that may look like.

"Replace all matrox blasters with shatteforce blasters" (all designs).
In the ship designs. A list of all different kind of components. The chosen item, and the number of them. A fancy option to add a second one (for two kinds of weapons). Just tweak a number to go from 4 to 6 blasters. Just modify a combo box to switch from matrox to shatterforce.

And no more wondering if the design has both damage control, target tracking, and proximity sensors. I find myself scanning through the item lists a chore to make sure the design does not miss fancy gadgets.

The UI of the ship design screen is not the game's strongest point...

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 7:38:33 PM   
lart

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz
Looking over the feature list of Shadows, I'm concerned over a few issues:

1. graphics
I hope not too much time has gone to improving graphics. DW could use some improvements to the efficiency of the graphics engine - but trying to make the game prettier is, in my opinion, a waste of time in a strategy game.


quote:

I'd be happier with the graphics improvement left till the next version. Doing so in an expansion seems to be a waste of time, considering other places Elliot can focus his efforts. Improving the AI, for example, would appeal to me far more than eye candy.




Graphic improvements were announced for the next expansion, especially scaling issues and hopefully font issues on higher resolutions. There are people out there who bought the game and the expansions and are unable to play it because of this.

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Post #: 110
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 11:01:01 PM   
Kruos


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quote:

Graphic improvements were announced for the next expansion


Please could you point a quote or a statement from Erik which confirm that?

I have to say that, even if I that dont care about graphic improvment (game depht is far more important as everyone here will agree I think), some work on the font scalling issue would be much appreciated.

In fact, from my point of vue the font scalling issue is the main default of DW. The small font is so painfull for the eyes that once the pleasure of the discovery is past, even if the new features are greats, you no longer want to restart a game. It was what happen to me each time I bought an expansion (RotS & Legend), it is a little bit lame I think.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/11/2012 11:11:42 PM   
lart

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kruos

quote:

Graphic improvements were announced for the next expansion


Please could you point a quote or a statement from Erik which confirm that?

I have to say that, even if I that dont care about graphic improvment (game depht is far more important as everyone here will agree I think), some work on the font scalling issue would be much appreciated.

In fact, from my point of vue the font scalling issue is the main default of DW. The small font is so painfull for the eyes that once the pleasure of the discovery is past, even if the new features are greats, you no longer want to restart a game. It was what happen to me each time I bought an expansion (RotS & Legend), it is a little bit lame I think.


This was posted in the "Please scale interface for higher resolutions - Feel I'm going blind threat"

Font size is also the main issue for me and I hope general scaling the interface will fix this as well.

quote:


Erik Rutins -> RE: Please scale interface for higher resolutions - Feel I'm going blind (8/29/2012 10:13:32 PM)

As a side note, Distant Worlds fully supports higher resolutions, but we do not currently have a solution for scaling the interface. It is unfortunately not a trivial task but this is one of the areas we have very high on our priority list to try to improve for the next expansion. I cannot promise, but we will try.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/12/2012 10:44:27 AM   
Kruos


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Thank you lart for the quote.

Good news indeed. I hope they will try, and succeed! :)

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/12/2012 10:09:06 PM   
Kayoz


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lart

Graphic improvements were announced for the next expansion...


I still don't understand where you get this. Erik, as far as I can see, has never promised any graphics improvements.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/14/2012 6:05:46 PM   
tjhkkr


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Hey Erik,

Can you throw me a tidbit about Special Forces in the new game?
I am kind of excited about that feature.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/14/2012 7:55:25 PM   
ASHBERY76


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I am thinking they work somewhat like the underated Armada2526 expansion.They can be landed secretly on planets.

quote:

If you attack a planet where you have Special Forces, you can use them to sabotage the defenses. They will start the battle deployed on the planet, but invisible to the enemy until they attack. Their first attack will have a special bonus and high chance of destroying the target.

(in reply to tjhkkr)
Post #: 116
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/14/2012 8:50:10 PM   
tjhkkr


Posts: 1860
Joined: 6/3/2010
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
I am thinking they work somewhat like the underated Armada2526 expansion.They can be landed secretly on planets.
quote:

If you attack a planet where you have Special Forces, you can use them to sabotage the defenses. They will start the battle deployed on the planet, but invisible to the enemy until they attack. Their first attack will have a special bonus and high chance of destroying the target.

That would be pretty cool. I am also hoping they can work independently of invasion and capture prisoners and that sort of thing...


_____________________________

Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.

(in reply to ASHBERY76)
Post #: 117
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/15/2012 6:35:18 AM   
nelsonlee


Posts: 12
Joined: 12/29/2011
Status: offline
- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen

is it something like Total War?

(in reply to Yskonyn)
Post #: 118
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/15/2012 9:08:01 AM   
Kayoz


Posts: 1437
Joined: 12/20/2010
From: Timbuktu
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: nelsonlee

- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen

is it something like Total War?


I think you're being dementedly hopeful.

I'm rather expecting something akin to MOO2's invasion graphics.


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(in reply to nelsonlee)
Post #: 119
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/15/2012 7:47:40 PM   
eltharion


Posts: 43
Joined: 2/20/2010
From: 1701-A Deck 5-Room 0195
Status: offline
I could cry ...

- Assault pods and ship to ship boarding actions or base, Including ship and base capture
- New Ground Combat expanded with new troop types and an animated battle ground 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

I hope that the section Heroes (created with Legends) to be expanded.
If then there had the ability to create quests with RPG elements for heroes... I think I would need a bowl.

_____________________________

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?

-Friedrich Nietzsche-

(in reply to Yskonyn)
Post #: 120
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