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DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Shadows

 
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DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Shadows - 5/17/2013 2:41:20 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Greetings All!

Erik has given us (Testers) permission to start posting and talking about DW : Shadows.

Before I begin, let me apologize as some of this info may be a rehash of earlier info.
Also, I've been testing Shadows since Jan/Feb, so for me the lines have blurred a bit between what was a Legends feature and what is now a Shadows feature, and as such I may inadvertently attribute something from Legends as a Shadows item.


First let me start by giving a glimpse of the Options item from the Main Menu:







Of note here is the addition of "Offer and Accept Pirate Missions".



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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 2:42:45 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 2:46:29 PM   
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Starting a new game, we are brought to this Menu:






Note the warning at the top, don't take it idly

The first option is of course is one of the new features of playing as a Pirate in the Age of Shadows.
I'm going to leave this area to other Testers that've had more experience in this area.

The second option is playing an Empire in the Age of Shadows, which is what my notes will primarily address.

Third option is being a Pirate in the "normal" DW universe.

The final option is the "normal" DW game.



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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 2:51:24 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 2:56:19 PM   
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Awesome! This is what I am most interested in hearing about.

More please!

Thanks!

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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 2:56:39 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Galaxy setup is next.





Changes to note:

Expansion - the addition of PreWarp
Pirates and the familiar Range Proximity preferences (you're going to learn to hate these guys)

[]Difficulty scales as player nears victory
[]Destroyed Pirates do not respawn


My testing has primarily been with Pirates at "Few" and "Distant" as I've been trying to concentrate on other areas of the game, but even at this setting Pirates can be a major PITA

EDIT:

I forgot a few notes here.

Add to the above setting Aggression = "Normal"

* - About Star density and Galaxy size.
Resources in Shadows are a fair bit tighter, so it may catch you by surprise.
The thing here is, larger maps and fewer Stars = harder game.
There are a couple of reasons for this, one of which is that prime resources will be spread out more, which due to a couple of items I'll cover below complicate things.






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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:04:43 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Constantine XI

Awesome! This is what I am most interested in hearing about.

More please!

Thanks!


Thanks, I've got about 19 or 20 slides and notes, it'll take awhile


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:09:54 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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I won't cover every section of starting a new game as some of them are basically the same as before, and I did miss the final slide for Victory Condition/Options, but there's just a minor Tick box on that one I believe.

Now onto the Habitability of the Galaxy:





NOTE :

I added some info to the previous slide.


As I mentioned above (fixed), resources are tighter now than before, so these settings are probably about right for a newer player.

For my normal play style, I'd set these too "Scarce" and "Rare", but I found out the hard way that this isn't too good of an idea . . . Resources.

There are generally going to be three or four resources that are going to be in tight supply (Carbon Fibre, Chromium, Silicon, and maybe Polymer).

By turning down the settings for Habitability in the Galaxy you're also reducing the number of sources for these resources, as these are found primarily on the Habitable planets.

So here again, is another area where you can make the game harder and more challenging.

Range Colonization limits increase this even more.






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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 3:30:48 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:33:32 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Your Empire:





Changes of note here:

Tech Level - addition of PreWarp

The PreWarp option is also a setting in the Alien Empire screen for Tech and Starting size/age (another slide I forgot to grab).


Starting location can be a challenge as well.
Generally, Pirates prefer the edges of the Galaxy, so that can make your life difficult if that's where you usually like to start.
Generally . . . don't count on that being the case though, I've seen plenty a Pirates spread throughout the Galaxy, so there's really no safe place.


Bonus

Speaking of the Galaxy and locations, remember how setting Empires to "Distant" would pretty much cluster them all together down in one area of the Galaxy?

Well, that's pretty much not the case in Shadows.
In Shadows you'll see Empires fairly well distributed throughout the Galaxy.
Oh, there'll be a few cases here and there where a couple of Empires are close together, but for the most part you'll see them well spread out.









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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 3:46:18 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:51:08 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Okay, I mentioned a few startup screens I missed, so now we're going to actually start.

Playing as a Human, here is typically what you'll see upon starting your Empire:






The Date (not shown) is 2100.01.11, which plus or minus a few days is the time frame your Empire begins.

There are no ships, not even a Spaceport, and that Moon you can see that you don't even know what type of resources are there.
As a PreWarp Empire, you're going to have to explore your own system just to find out what resources are available.



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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 3:56:23 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:56:18 PM   
Mansen


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What kind of performance are you getting in the endgame, Cadet? My hardware specifications are almost identical to yours. :)

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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 3:59:51 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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A look at the Expansion Planner, sorted by the number of Resources:






Pretty lean times, you don't even have Mines yet.

The only six Resources you have a source for are the ones on your Planet.

You have a limited stockpile of a few other resources . . . not much to start an Empire.



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:04:12 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mansen

What kind of performance are you getting in the endgame, Cadet? My hardware specifications are almost identical to yours. :)


From what I've seen, what I have is overkill, and that's running at 4x

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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:06:32 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Here's a look at some changes to the Policy options, I've pasted this together from multiple screen shots:





Troop Recruitment:

Tweaks to Troop type distribution (once researched)
Garrisoning Troops - Transport won't load these


War & Attacks:

Pirate Offensive and Defensive Missions added
Pirate Smuggling options added
[]Use Exploration Ships to scout enemy systems


Boarding & Capture:

All new



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:14:53 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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I believe this has been posted before, but here it is again:





Just starting out, no ships yet.

Pirate Protection added to Empire Annual Expenses.

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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:21:24 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Initial Energy Tech view.

Some of this has been seen before, but a few notes to point out:






Space Reactors - note the Energy Output and Efficiency levels (for later)

Warp Field Precursors - You can't even research this yet.
Note the Energy Usage and the Speed.



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:26:51 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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High Tech start out to note:






Fuel Cell and Cargo Capacity.



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:30:01 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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These are the Designs that you are capable of building:






Quite a bit leaner than regular DW.


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:32:47 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Take a look at the design for your starting Escort:






Lots of warnings, but at this point we don't have the component Tech available yet.

To the left you can see a lot of highlighted components - highlighted because we don't have a source for the resources needed to build them.

Note the Movement box:
- No HyperDrive
- Range (new addition)

Weapons box:
- Boarding Assault (new addition)

Defense box:
- Boarding Defense Strength (new addition)


Boarding Defense Strength is affected by Habitat and Assault Modules, or which only Habitat are on this design.




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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:42:35 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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A quick look at the initial Constructor design (which you'll see why later):






Note that the Escort had two Fuel Cells, and this Constructor has twelve - compare their Ranges.

Something odd?

The Constructor is a much heavier and slower ship, and uses much more Energy to move around at Sub-Light speeds.

Also note the increased Boarding Defense Strength for the Constructor, since it has many more Habitat Modules.




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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:47:27 PM   
Mansen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Spacecadet


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mansen

What kind of performance are you getting in the endgame, Cadet? My hardware specifications are almost identical to yours. :)


From what I've seen, what I have is overkill, and that's running at 4x


Good to hear - I love a good big universe.

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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:48:57 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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Moving forward several Months, back out to look at our Home World:






At this point we have our first Spaceport.
Note, that it's centered on the planet, as is now much more likely to be the case.

The Moon I have highlighted here to show that even though we have a Spaceport, we still don't know what type of resources there are.
The reason we still don't know about resources is that we don't have a Resource Profiler on the Spaceport, which is only needed for Explorers.



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 4:56:38 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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A look at the Troops & Characters tab in the Colony screen:






A newer Troop look, and a few more options:
- Garrison
- Ungarrison

Garrisoned troops are prevented from automatically being loaded onto ships.
This helps insure that you have Troops remain on planets you want Troop defense available.



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:02:44 PM   
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The Fleet Screen:







A bit of a different look and some more options




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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:07:01 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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It's been many years later, we've built ships, explored, and finally researched Warp Drives!

Let's take a look at what our Escort now looks like:






On left you'll see we're starting to get sources for the resources needed, but we still don't have them all covered.


These should be small quick ships, so we don't want too much on them.
Note that even with two Reactors, we're still not getting the full Speed capability from the Warp Bubble.

Remember the Energy Output and the Energy usage from above?
Here's one early hit.

Check out that Range!
You're reading that right . . . 0.18 Sectors.




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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:14:33 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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So, 0.18 Sectors . . . what does that mean?


Here's a look at what a nearly fully fueled Escort can do :






So you thought . . . now I've got Warp Drive, I can conquer the Galaxy?

Well, that Escort can't even reach the first Star and return, which is very close.

Remember my comment at the beginning regarding Galaxy map size and Star Density?

This is actually one of the better scenarios I've seen.
A lot of the time the Stars are not quite so close as in this case.





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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 5:19:52 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:21:02 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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How about the Constructor?

Warp capable Constructor design:






Now we're down to eight Fuel Cells as size/speed/resources are a bit of a concern.
We've got three Reactors now, but we're still not getting everything out of the Warp Bubble.
We even had to add Life Support and Habitat to support the extra components.

Eight Fuel Cells and our range is a whopping 0.67 Sectors!

Simply put, the Warp Bubble is an Energy Hog





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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 5:25:25 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:26:48 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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A look at a fully fueled Constructor's 0.67 Sector range looks like:






In this case we're lucky.
We can reach and return to a few Stars in the neighborhood.

The question is, do those Stars have resources, and if they do, are they the ones we need?

Big maps
Fewer Stars
Lower Habitability
Fewer key resources

Sounds pretty rough.


Oh yeah, there are these little annoyances called "Pirates".

These aren't just the little buzzing nuisance Pirates you've seen before in normal DW.
These Pirates start out with Warp Drives, and I'm not talking about Warp Bubbles.
These Pirates are competing with you and every other Empire for resources . . . critical resources.
These Pirates have Constructors . . . and they can use them on anything.
Anything . . . let that sink in for a minute or two . . . anything.











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< Message edited by Spacecadet -- 5/17/2013 5:36:21 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:52:36 PM   
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Personally I would like range to stay small even with later tech.An exploration ship in Legends could map most of the galaxy from the start.

< Message edited by ASHBERY76 -- 5/17/2013 5:53:17 PM >


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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:54:10 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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That's all I've got for now on pictures and a quickie preview.

I'll add some more notes as I remember them, here are a couple more:

- Mines and Bases can now Retrofit
- You'll see Mines and Bases storing a few extra resources, this is to help them in Retrofit events
- You can "Gift" items to other Empires/Pirates (ships, Mines, maybe even Planets)
- AI Empires are now much better at building out Research capacity
- Early game + Tractor Beams + Rail Guns = Death . . . watch out
- Gravity Weapon + no Defense against it = ouch
- Pirate Raids . . . think of the Moon raid in Return of the Jedi



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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 5:58:02 PM   
Spacecadet

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

Personally I would like range to stay small even with later tech.An exploration ship in Legends could map most of the galaxy from the start.


Not gonna happen here.

I've had fifty plus years into a 15 x 15, 700 Star game, with 10 Explorers still going.

For one, it takes time to research the Techs to build your Range.
For another, you're going to lose some Explorers to Space Monsters and Pirates, especially if you have them set to scout enemy systems.





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RE: DW : Shadows - notes as an Empire in the Age of Sha... - 5/17/2013 6:42:41 PM   
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Later game economy.Is it still the zillion credits in the bank with nothing to spend it on bloat.

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