As a newbie, this thread is awesome. I do have a couple of questions if people are still keeping tabs on this thread:
I have played many 4x games since Civilization (I), and MOO (I), and some of my favorites include: Civ 5, MoO 2, Pax Imperium, HoMM 2, & Eve Online (ok, not a 4x, but it's still epic). I have no idea how I missed Distant Worlds, but I am diving into the details and have started a couple learning games to get a grasp on mechanics.
Through all my reading, I have an initial 'plan' on my first 'real' game, and a couple questions based upon my first learning games... (Note: I have only played into mid-game.)
1. How do I see how my EMPIRE is on the resource utilization scale. I can view Cargo being hauled for A space station, but it there a screen to show what is needed / being used for my Empire?
2. What is the significance / difference between shields and armor? Is there a reason NOT to go full shields (they regenerate....)
3. Is there a way to increase my Empire's research total capacity? My understanding currently is that the research stations only change the mix of my research.
4. What does "Crash Research" actually DO?
5. It appears that an intermediate step to turn off automation would indicate that I may want to explicitly control: Tech research, Ship Design, exploration targets (initially), constructors, Colony ships, Fleets & tax rates. Am I leaving off anything important?
6. My second trial game had no Chromium (and another element for "plasma torpedoes")... (30-40% of the galaxy explored) is this normal?
7. Can I design a 'smaller + weaker' colony ship to accelerate early growth?
Couple of observations, so far:
1. The AI is a welcome addition... although it does tend to make learning details more challenging. I learned a lot by turning everything off, and accepting my defeat in the interest of learning more.
2. Wonders are still a mystery.
3. Answering basic resource supply questions is non-intuitive. (how much XXX do I have is not an easy answer, where is XXX is easier.)
My general style of play is to: quick expand, turtle & tech, march on to victory. Of course, things always get in the way of 'the plan'.
It appears that a good source of plan would be to:
-Not initially build small starports on every colony.
-Upgrade my homeworld starport to large ASAP.
-Build more explorers than I think I need... especially when I get ready to automate.
-Focus on only one 'primary' branch of weaponry.
any other advice?