after trying it out, it seems at first sight that instead of "Pre-warp", it is easier with "starting". When I tried with pre-warp, I had no ships at all, so I created a few constructors; I tried to queue a few explorers, but it seems that I did not have the required materials, so I sent out my constructors, but when they reached nearby planets, they could not determine which resources were there, so they were practically useless. Having nearby colonizable planets is no help because I cannot colonize or exploit them for a long time. So at least using this start, one should first build a couple of explorers to find out what resources are on the system planets.It looks to me like a player could stall his game without recourse if he is not careful with this start.I didn't play long enough to find out if I was really stalled or if my explorers would have come on line eventuallyk (they were not in the list when I quit).
Perhaps Eric you could add a screen or two to show the newbie the first move or so (for example to build a couple of explorers). Another mistake I made was to build a defence base on a colonizable planet before it was colonized, with the result that there were no people to work in the useless thing.
On "starting", the player gets a few ships of each main type, a few of the nearby planets are already explored, and if resources are set to "abundant", one has a good stock of starting resources. I have played this game for a few hours, after watching the first 3 movies of the "micro-management" series that starts off with a similar situation but that uses more difficult settings than I used.Having lots of resources at the start is really a big difference.Like in the video, I could quickly build a couple of fleets with two destroyers and two frigates, and a bunch of small ships to escort mine ships and others. There are enough resources to build a colony ship to colonize the nearby colonizable planets, and the two fleets are plenty enough to take on any pirates that show up.
The above videos (the link is in the videos list thread above) are good to understand the various screens and how to use them, in particular the ship list and the resources list.Although he plays at a more difficult level, this does not make a lot of difference for the early moves.
I'm completely new to Distant Worlds as well though I had a blast this weekend playing the game. I chose the following:
Normal Empire Classical Age
Galaxy = Elliptical
Star Amount = Huge
Physical size = Huge
Expansion = PreWarp
Research Costs = Normal
Aggression = Normal
Space Creatures = Normal
Difficulty = Normal
Pirates = Normal
Destroyed Pirates do not respawn = Checked
Colony Prevalence = Normal
Independent Alien Life = Normal
Colony Influence Range = default
My race = Human
Home System = Excellent
Tech Level = PreWarp
Corruption = Low
My empire = Republic
All events enabled except Shadows story events (this can not be enabled since I chose Classical Age)
Victory Conditions apply after 99 years; no other changes on this screen.
I start the game, I let the AI control everything. What I do in the beginning I just simply construct Energy Research Station on my home planet, then HiTech Research Station, Weapon Research Station and few defense stations. Of course at the beginning my empire has very limited resources but I let the AI worry about that...over time the AI will ask you to build Constructor ships, Explorer ships etc and you simply allow the AI to build these ships. The trick is to simply let the AI do the work and you watch and learn. After while the basic construction will start, if you get messages that some resources are not available don't worry about that as the mining ships will bring in more resources soon.
The problem I always had with these 4x space games was that there was just too much micro management by default and I got bored fast. With Distant World, yes there is still complexity but you let the AI handle everything and you just get involved in the things that you like. For example at the beginning I took one explore ship and just went to explored the map around my empire. All I was manually controlling just one ship...gradually over time I can manually control more areas of the game. The most important thing to remember in other games you had to control everything in order to play the game...in Distant Worlds you let the AI handle everything at the beginning and you slowly take control of various things only later as you learn. This makes Distant Worlds a great game for me! (+ the fact that Distant Worlds feels like 4x space simulation than a game...I love this feature as well).
What I like about starting the game in preWarp era, you start with nothing and you slowly see/learn over time how your empire expands. Otherwise I think for the new player the game it's too busy, too many empire/other empire cargo/military ships fly around...
I hope this helps!
< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 5/27/2013 3:17:41 PM >