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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame

 
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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2008 3:26:30 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: marcusm
Erik and others. I just found this awesome game play description at Something Awful.
Very, very good gameplay and flow post.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2719394

Btw. They are also working on a Space RPG. It is a sort of tribute to Traveller, the best pen and paper space RPG made. Wonder how it ranks against Mass Effect :).


Great AAR, clearly by an extremely experienced player, still definitely shows the game off well.

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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2008 7:19:48 PM   
cdbeck


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Woah... I am suprised that so many here had never heard of SotS, particularly since I beat the "GO OUT AND LOVE SOTS" drum everywhere I go (I guess not here). The community over at the website is equally as friendly and brotherly as this one here, so go check out the forum and the SotS wiki for more info on all that this game offers.

I think of SotS as a much more graphically updated version of Stars! or even comparable to Starships Unlimited. The game focuses solely on taking planets to provide resources to build massive amounts of ships and to research technologies that, 8 times out of 10, provide some component, weapon, or improvement to your ships. The game is very ship and ship combat heavy, think Stars! 4X scenes with Homeworld style battles when you have a combat.

I think it would be right up your alley, Erik. There is an updated demo floating around, but be sure that you read up on how to properly use and control fleets. CnC, as mentioned above, allows you to chose which ships engage (i.e. your refueling ships will not appear on the battlefield instead of your warships), set up a formation, and field more ships. The choices of weaponry is staggering. You can have LR Missiles, Middle range and damage plasma balls, surgical lasers, giant cutting beams (like the Shadows in Babylon 5), among others. The BoB expansion added diplomacy and a trade system (although the diplomacy is best used in multiplayer games, where many feel tha game truly shines), as well as dumbfire missiles, AoE DOT missiles, and some really cool other weapons. The races in the game are extremely unique and do not play even close to the same. They have different propulsion systems (humans move on MoO style nodes, Hivers go very slow then open up stargates that allow instant transport between gates, Liir move fast in deep space and can turn on a dime, and Tarka are your Star Trek warp drives).

The very best thing about the game is the atmosphere. The races have awesome voices and backstories (which can be gained by reading the manual or looking at the website). The universe is not some empty grouping of planets, either. You can bump into all sorts of random events and random encounters - slavers, Von Neumman probes, nasty space insects, among other things that are... ummm... more serious but I refuse to spoil (think crap your pants scary). Born of Blood adds even more, and adds the Zuul, a twisted and fun race of mind controling, voracious, carnivorous bio-weapons that bore through space, take slaves, and have huge ships that basically amount to tons of weapons duct taped to an engine.

So, I love this game, can anyone tell? In many ways, it reminds me of a 4X version of Star Control II (as RH said), mixed with the wonderful gameplay of Stars!, the ship personality of Starships Unlimited, and the simplicity of planet management of the original Master of Orion. For the cheap price of the gold edition, anyone should take the plunge. You can yell at me if you don't like it.

BTW, even though Sins of a Solar Empire is a good game, very well reviewed, I have yet to see any serious Space 4x player say that they prefer Sins to SotS, despite the fact that reviewers gave SotS such mediocre scores. Reviewers are idiots, and they completely missed all of the awesome aspects of the game.

Also, for RH's sake, I do want to mention that Kerberos is currently working on Northstar, which they describe as being a trade based space exploration game, Turn-Based, along the lines of Star Control II, Starflight, and Space Rangers. So far, it is looking very very promising. Now if only Kerberos could get out from under their terrible traditional publisher, Lighthouse, and find a publisher that cared about gameplay quality... I wonder who could help them...

SoM


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Post #: 32
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2008 8:20:48 PM   
marcusm

 

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What I like is that the developers love Jagged Alliance 2 and Traveller. Can't think of a better
basis for the perfect space rpg :).

As for publisher. I think Gamers Gate and Steam etc has shown where they should put their efforts. From some sources I heard that online sales outdid the offline ones. Can't confirm anything though.

I did buy the first offline but it is shameful to sell this great game for only 10 euros.

< Message edited by marcusm -- 3/27/2008 8:22:59 PM >

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Post #: 33
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2008 9:36:50 PM   
ravinhood


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quote:

Now if only Kerberos could get out from under their terrible traditional publisher, Lighthouse, and find a publisher that cared about gameplay quality... I wonder who could help them...


Yeah me too, certainly not anyone around here....

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WE/I WANT 1:1 or something even 1:2 death animations in the KOIOS PANZER COMMAND SERIES don't forget Erik! ;) and Floating Paratroopers We grew up with Minor, Marginal and Decisive victories why rock the boat with Marginal, Decisive and Legendary?



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Post #: 34
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2008 10:21:03 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Son_of_Montfort

BTW, even though Sins of a Solar Empire is a good game, very well reviewed, I have yet to see any serious Space 4x player say that they prefer Sins to SotS, despite the fact that reviewers gave SotS such mediocre scores. Reviewers are idiots, and they completely missed all of the awesome aspects of the game.



While I wouldn't disagree with your last sentence I'd be surprised if those "serious Space 4x" players preferred Sins to SotS (or GalCiv 2, or Space Empires, or Lost Empire, or.. ) regardless of review scores. I really like Sins, but it is an RTS not a classic 4X game despite partially merging the two genres. The only not-so-good reviews of Sins I've seen are those where the author clearly doesn't understand what the game is, and isn't, attempting to do.

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Post #: 35
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/28/2008 12:10:33 AM   
ravinhood


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But why is it those damn RTS games no matter what they are get better scores and reviews than a good turn based or hexed based game? ;) Other than Civilization and GalCiv what other turn based games get rave reviews like these silly RTS ?? clickfest games. ;)

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WE/I WANT 1:1 or something even 1:2 death animations in the KOIOS PANZER COMMAND SERIES don't forget Erik! ;) and Floating Paratroopers We grew up with Minor, Marginal and Decisive victories why rock the boat with Marginal, Decisive and Legendary?



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Post #: 36
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/28/2008 1:50:12 AM   
cdbeck


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Well, tis true, Sins is an RTS, not really a 4X per se. Although, to be fair RH, Sins is hardly "kiddie" and can be slowed down to the point that it is almost exactly like the Take Command series in scope. I can't stand to play that slow, but one could (and it can be easily paused).

Technically, SotS is hardly a TBS 4X too... you will spend a good amount of time in the pausable RTS battles (although these are closer to the old MoO 2 TBS battles, as you can target the individual WEAPONS of individual ships).

So far, Lost Empire seems a bit hollow to me, particularly in comparison. I have the Immortals demo, and have kicked around getting the full version, but the nagging thought that it is just a bland spreadsheet with some nice screens on top of it still disuades me.

SoM


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Post #: 37
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/28/2008 2:43:51 AM   
Joram

 

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I didn't care for Lost Empires so I'm not even trying for Immortals.  The best thing about LE was that I genuinely felt I got what I paid for.  I.E. it was cheap.  Some people might consider it a hidden gem though.

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Post #: 38
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/28/2008 6:08:04 AM   
cdbeck


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Well, if you own the old one, you can get the new one for cheap. But if you add the prices together, it gets a bit more expensive of a total.

SoM


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Post #: 39
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/28/2008 3:18:19 PM   
marcusm

 

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I think Sots could appeal to those who love Sci Fi but have stayed away from 4x(maybe MOO is too old for them).

Sots is for Sci Fi lovers first and forthmost as I see it. I am a huge Space Opera fan (i read everything Hamilton,Banks, Reynolds etc throws my way).

The hardcore spreadsheet type gamer will probably favour a game like GC2 over this. At least I think so. GC2 is great btw but It hasn't got the flair SOTS has. I always felt that many strategy games felt empty and hollow behind the glossy interfaces. SOTS has changed all that. In fact Reach For the Stars did the same but it was long time ago I have forgotten :).

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Post #: 40
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 10:47:47 AM   
Scott_WAR

 

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Wow. I played the demo for this a long time ago, and was not impressed at all. After reading this while looking into buying a 4X game like Space Empires4 or 5, I tried the newer demo, and bought the game and the BoB expansion. I must say I am really impressed with just how addictive this game is and how I completely overlooked it before.

(in reply to marcusm)
Post #: 41
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 12:18:24 PM   
Nemo121


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I'm another one who wasn't impressed by the reviews and demo in the past but I must admit while I love GalCiv etc I could do with a more combat-focussed game on the subject.

Couple of questions though:
1. With their publisher going bankrupt recently ( LIghthouse ) and Gamer's Gate being reputed to be pretty unreliable for downloads ( have to give Matrix kudos here for being utterly reliable in terms of downloads ) is my only way of getting the game online going to be through Paradox's Online store?

2. I can't find the Collector's Edition available for download ( SotS + BoB together ) anywhere. It seems I have to purchase and download each individually - which seems a tad user-unfriendly at this stage of the publishing cycle.

3. A murder of Crows - third game in the series - doesn't even appear on Paradox's Online store so I'd have to purchase that from Gamer's Gate.


*Sheesh* Seriously, I'm no ueber-fanboy of Matrix's - prefering, instead, to judge them on their merits - but if Matrix haven't approached Kerberos yet they really should at this stage. When your own publisher can't even list your latest game for sale on their own sales section THEN you've got serious problems.

< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 3/27/2009 12:24:50 PM >

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Post #: 42
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 12:43:21 PM   
Joram

 

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LOL, talk about resurrecting an old thread.  And I'm even in it! 

To be honest, I can't recommend the game as wholeheartedly as I did in the past.  They have so monkeyed around with the physics in the game I get too frustrated with it now.  I continually get ships thrown so far off the z-axis they disappear in spite of them claiming it's fixed.  Far from it!  There's a lot more micro-management of planets now than before as well which while still not too micro in the scheme of things, it does add a considerable length of time to play an already long game.  I will say they have improved the diplomacy aspect nicely.

I don't know if these issues are specific to the latest expansion or have been back-coded into the earlier ones as well.  I find I get a lot more enjoyability out of the game with smaller universes as it just takes way too long otherwise. 

(in reply to Nemo121)
Post #: 43
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 1:11:56 PM   
Nemo121


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Ah well I'm a WiTP player so compared to that any amount of micro-management will seem tame :).

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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 1:42:12 PM   
Scott_WAR

 

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I just have the original and BoB. Gamersgate is where I got them and have downloaded 3 times with no issue whatsoever. I really should put the games on a disk just in case though. I didnt bother with the collectors edition,...there is a patch which brings the original and BoB up to the same version as the CE. Plus the CE cost more than the original and BoB bought sepeately at gamersgate, so its cheaper that way also.

I have never saw the z axis problem although i havent played for all that long yet, so my luck may run out there eventually.

I would really just go with the original and BoB for now.......see if you like it before buying A Murder of Crows. That what I am doing, although I am already planning on buying AMoC in a week when I have the money since I already know I like the game.

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Post #: 45
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 1:46:16 PM   
Joram

 

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I haven't had any downloading issues with Gamersgate but I haven't bought anything with them since they got rid of the downloader (it used to be separate).  I do however have an issue with them in that they refuse to process my credit card correctly so in essence, I can't buy anything from them.  They have done it before so I know it works but the last couple times I have had issues and repeated calls to them can't seem to get the issue fixed.  Oh well, their loss.

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Post #: 46
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 1:52:56 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121
*Sheesh* Seriously, I'm no ueber-fanboy of Matrix's - prefering, instead, to judge them on their merits - but if Matrix haven't approached Kerberos yet they really should at this stage. When your own publisher can't even list your latest game for sale on their own sales section THEN you've got serious problems.


Believe me, we've approached them. By all means, if you're a fan of the game feel free to suggest to them that they should talk to us some more.

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Post #: 47
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 4:27:24 PM   
n01487477


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http://www.lighthouse-interactive.com/Lighthouse-Interactive-declared-bankrupt
quote:

Dutch/Canadian videogame publisher, Lighthouse Interactive has officially been declared bankrupt. A spokesperson pointed out that due to the demise of its parent  company Silverbirch Incorporated and the bankruptcy of its largest debtor Pinnacle Entertainment, Lighthouse was unable to carry on.

Lighthouse Interactive was sold to SilverBirch Inc in 2008 and was a wholly owned subsidiary. The company was best known for publishing many critically acclaimed PC titles including Ship Simulator, Sword of the Stars and Overclocked.

The Lighthouse personnel would like to thank all business partners, press and its customers for their support over the past years.


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Post #: 48
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 6:02:54 PM   
PunkReaper


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Guess they wont be getting in touch then..... another one bites the dust!
Hopefully all the employees got a full pension and a golden parachute just as if they were working in a bank. (boardroom that is)

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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 6:14:25 PM   
ASHBERY76


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Kerberos maybe think charging prices higher than console games are not a good idea for the PC market.Matrix pricing will always make them too small for full time developers.

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RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 6:43:49 PM   
Nemo121


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Ashbery,
I'm not so sure. Matrix seems to price "as the market bears". Lots of their games go for relatively low prices ( given their content ) while some, WiTP and various others go for more than the average ( but, again, grognards will pay these prices as it isn't so often another WiTP or BoB or CoG comes along).

Maybe I'm missing your point though?

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Post #: 51
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 7:54:36 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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Well, now we've got another abandonware title on our hands ?

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Post #: 52
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 8:13:24 PM   
Nemo121


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No, seems to have been taken on by Paradox....

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Post #: 53
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 9:33:26 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
Kerberos maybe think charging prices higher than console games are not a good idea for the PC market.Matrix pricing will always make them too small for full time developers.


Not sure what you really are basing this on. We have games all across the price range and the existing pricing for SOTS would be fine by us.


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Post #: 54
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 9:34:02 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121
No, seems to have been taken on by Paradox....


They've been on GamersGate for quite a while, before Lighthouse went under, or do you mean something else?

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Post #: 55
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 9:34:41 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jeffrey H.
Well, now we've got another abandonware title on our hands ?


No, their publisher went out of business, the developer is still very much in business.

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Erik Rutins
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Post #: 56
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/27/2009 10:33:20 PM   
Scott_WAR

 

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Keep trying Erik. Make sure they read your forums, as this is your best marketing tool. You have a lot of happy customers, you are always helpful on the forums, and you already have a fan base for their game here. What more could they ask for?


Oh, I resurrected this thread because it was the primary reason I bought SotS, and I wanted to thank those that brought it to my attention. VERY good and fun game.

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Post #: 57
RE: Sword of the Stars - What a great space wargame - 3/30/2009 11:56:38 AM   
cdbeck


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I've mentioned Matrix to Mecron (Martin Cirulis, the CEO) several times on the forum, so they know about Matrix. Their next game, Northstar, looks like it is going to be this excellent mix of Starflight, X-Com, and X3. I'm very much in anticipation about it, but they may be self-publishing.

Lighthouse was never a good mix with Kerberos. They tended to give them only short shrift, treat them as a side project, or not put enough marketing out. Funny, SotS was probably their flagship title. For all the lack of marketing out there, you go to any gaming forum (here, OO, Gaming Trend, Wargamer.com) and you ask what one of the best recent space empire building sims is and you will get several people bring up the SotS series. Fans, like me, basically rave about the games and their forum fan-base is very active despite the fact that AMoC was released months ago and their upcoming games (Fort Zombie and Northstar) are in development, have very little info out on them, and no given release date (could be tomorrow, could be 2010). In fact, SotS is one of the best space-empire games of all time for me, I rank it up there with MoO2!

SoM


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(Kill them all. God will know his own.)

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