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Space Empires - 9/17/2016 1:07:31 AM   


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I am considering purchasing this game and was wondering if anyone can tell me how it compares to the old Space Empires series.

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RE: Space Empires - 9/17/2016 4:39:52 AM   


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The games are quite dissimilar. I would personally recommend Distant Worlds, as I have spent thousands of hours on it.

The main differences (DW vs. SE) are:
  • Pause-able real time versus turn based.
  • Free movement vs. star lanes.
  • Separation of "state" and "private" sector economy.
  • More space-opera feel vs. risk-style expansions.
  • Automation. The game can play itself if you let it, and you can choose how much invoked you want to be.

    There are quite a few Let's Play series (see the After Action Report section, my signature, or just google "Distant Worlds Let's Play" ) so you can watch some of them to have a feel. I recommend RemoteLeg's introduction to Distant Worlds as it directly targets the experienced 4X gamers.

    < Message edited by johanwanderer -- 9/17/2016 4:41:51 AM >


    (in reply to waynev)
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    RE: Space Empires - 9/17/2016 6:05:06 AM   


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    Hi Wayne,

    Unfortunately, the people who wouldn't recommend DW over "x" game aren't likely to be on this forum Still, I would guess a good majority of people prefer DW over any other 4X space game, assuming they know what it is and give it a shot.

    I agree with Johan that the biggest difference is the real-time vs. turn-based element. You can still pause and take as much time as you'd like to think about anything (I feel that's encouraged), but the flow of the game is so much different.

    The real-time combines with another huge difference: the galaxy is modeled with all the empty space you'd expect of.. well, space! There are no choke points, space is big and empty for the most part, and that means you have to strategically position forces not outside of worm holes, but patrolling your empire's key points. That just feels so darn realistic.

    This is what Johan mentions as "free movement" -- and I'd agree with his ordering that this is the second-biggest thing. The systems have orbiting (in real-time) planets around a central star, which IMO is much more compelling than the fixed grids of Space Empires. So, yes, gone are the grids; the DW universe is massive compared to SE.

    The downside to these improvements (well, that's what I call them) is that the player's options have greatly expanded. It can be frightening to ease into. You can automate anything you'd like, but I personally never liked playing like that. SO it means you have to learn a good deal more than SE. By the way, I'm using SE IV Gold as my comparison point, the one I played the most of.

    Bottom line: DW makes the 4X space universe it creates so incredibly believable and immersive. The drawback to that is the complexity to make it happen.
  • If you are comfortable wrapping your head around a new paradigm of 4X, then I *highly* recommend DW to you.
  • If you are not comfortable diving into this, then I could recommend games similar to Space Empires without bucking the common 4X space trend: something like Galactic Civilization II.

    < Message edited by tortugapower -- 9/17/2016 7:19:24 PM >


    Matrix Games video tutorials:
    Distant Worlds Universe
    Advanced Tactics Gold

    (in reply to johanwanderer)
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    RE: Space Empires - 9/17/2016 10:23:17 AM   


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    I definitely agree with the pro-DW people who have already spoken up, free movement - to me - is so much more interesting, immersive and tactically deep than a fixed, forced starlane map where it just becomes a no-brainer to camp the nearest choke point. But although I think DW is a generally better game than Space Empires, SE does at least one thing better, design. In SE, you can design almost anything you can think of to perform whatever role you want (drones, troops, ground bases, satellites, giant starbases you name it) and it is much more flexible and powerful than DW's already good design system.

    If it were not for those horrific forced starlanes I would have played SE a lot more than I did.

    (in reply to tortugapower)
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    RE: Space Empires - 9/27/2016 2:43:48 AM   

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    Sorry, late to respond, but perhaps this might help.

    I am a big fan of Malfador's SE series going back to SEIII. I remember fondly the whole community of shipyard websites that supported the game with new ship sprites, name files, etc.

    I don't like to compare games as better (etc), because each must live or die on its own merits and design at the time it was made. However, as a Space Empires fan myself, I think you will like Distant Worlds.

    You already read some of the differences-- perhaps the most glaring omission is that Distant Worlds is single player only. If you cut your teeth on VGA Planets and Stars! like me, that might be important to you. Many would be galactic conquerors like multiplayer -- even the old style pbem. That said, the AI is mostly challenging given the scenario and event system included in DW.

    Otherwise, you will find that DW (like Space Empires) has a complete customization API. Files can be tweaked and mods are available here for new settings, races, and ships.

    I'm not sure what version of Space Empires you liked the best, but also keep in mind that DW is a 2D, top down game. There is no 3D in the currently released version, DW: Universe.

    Finally, I think you will really come to enjoy the living universe that DW creates in each game. From a design and game-play standpoint, DW is very well done.

    < Message edited by Malevolence -- 9/27/2016 2:46:37 AM >


    Nicht kleckern, sondern klotzen!

    *Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

    (in reply to Lucian)
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    RE: Space Empires - 9/27/2016 4:50:16 AM   


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    *Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

    The beatings really will continue until morale improves, then?


    I never played SE at all, was more into SotS, Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations 2. I say that to say that IMHO DW:U is generally the most satisfying of the space-themed strategy games that I have played to date.

    < Message edited by Twigster -- 9/27/2016 4:58:46 AM >

    (in reply to Malevolence)
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