4X goodness?

Tarrosion

Weaksauce
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Oct 2, 2007
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Lately I've been craving a new strategy experience (and am willing to pay up to ~$40 for it). Turn based or real time is fine, as long as the pacing is fairly moderate (a la Sins) and the scale is sufficiently large.

I've played a lot of Civ 4 and a while back picked up Civ V for next to nothing. I see the new expansion comes out in a few days and is said to fix many problems with lacking depth and poor AI.

I greatly enjoyed Sins of a Solar Empire (original and trinity) and Rebellion just came out...

And I've been hearing good things about Endless Space.

Any recommendations?
 

DeathPrincess

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I want a remake of Imperium Galactica. All of the recent space empire sims have random chance civilization style auto-battles rather than RTS style. Then theres no building cities on planets (then RTS style battles to take them over after planetary bombardments!) it's just a big list of stuff!

Would be great to being able to mouse wheel from a galactic empire down to the street on your colony. Then build a planetary bomb thing and blow it all to hell (with the enwemy fleet :D).
 

WarriorX

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I want a remake of Imperium Galactica. All of the recent space empire sims have random chance civilization style auto-battles rather than RTS style. Then theres no building cities on planets (then RTS style battles to take them over after planetary bombardments!) it's just a big list of stuff!

Would be great to being able to mouse wheel from a galactic empire down to the street on your colony. Then build a planetary bomb thing and blow it all to hell (with the enwemy fleet :D).

Wow I remember that game. Was really fun. You could build up a big war fleet, settle planets, place defense on your planet, attack planets with ground units...would LOVE an updated game or something similar. Sins of a solar empire is cool but I hate the limitation of only being able put stuff in the circle. Tons of wasted space between stars and planets.
 

KaOTiK

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Endless Space

It is still in alpha/beta but it is very good even in that stage. If you preorder it on Steam you get access to the alpha/beta and a 10% discount (game is normally $30).
 

DeathPrincess

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Wow I remember that game. Was really fun. You could build up a big war fleet, settle planets, place defense on your planet, attack planets with ground units...would LOVE an updated game or something similar. Sins of a solar empire is cool but I hate the limitation of only being able put stuff in the circle. Tons of wasted space between stars and planets.

It was the first space empire game I played, but it's kind of ruined me. Every time I see a space empire game I go in looking for half of the stuff that game had, but it's missing, so feels not quite as good. Pretty much the reason none of these new ones interests me so much...they feel too...board game like.

I liked being able to just send out the crappy ships to explore for new planets, and the terraforming. Then researching just range based stuff so you could win ground battles by running and outranging things. Then the planetary bombs, and the 3 seconds of every month when you had money... Gah should be able to make a kickstarter for other people!!! (we'll give you $500k to actually make Imperium galactica 3, damnit!). :D

Theres still a demo of it! :D (it's actually pretty long for a demo, you can play it for hours, and theres multiple scenarios)
 

Ryom

[H]ard|Gawd
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Ever try Master of Orion 2? It's available for $5.99 on Good Old Games. MoO1 and MoO2 were the genre defining games of 4x. Orion 2 holds up fairly well visually too, and the effects are very cool. I love watching the effect a phasor being blocked by a planetary barrier shield creates.

http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/master_of_orion_1_2
 

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Gawd
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I really really enjoy warlock, master of the arcane. Excellent, quite similar to master of magic.
 

lasserith

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It seems like you are only focused on top down 4x games. No love for the X games? X3 Albion Prelude is amazing and X Rebirth (coming this yearish) is looking to be even better. Might be worth a look for you.
 

Tarrosion

Weaksauce
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It seems like you are only focused on top down 4x games. No love for the X games? X3 Albion Prelude is amazing and X Rebirth (coming this yearish) is looking to be even better. Might be worth a look for you.

What do you mean by top-down? (I've never tried the X games.)
 

FreiDOg

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What do you mean by top-down? (I've never tried the X games.)

Top down being you see the game world from a god's eye perspective. The map is laid out on the screen and you see it all pretty much at once.

The X/X2/X3 games put you into the world in command of ship / station, whatever and have you build out your empire from within the simulation point of view with direct control over a unit.

The X type games I don't think tend to be a prevalent because they tend to be real time (which is harder to manage in the end game and still keep the player in control), and it usually means limited and imperfect information for the player.

I would second the Endless Space suggestion. Still a bit buggy at times, but pretty solid and a nice return to the classic 4x space strategy games.

The original Sword of the Stars & its expansion pack can be found pretty cheap (Even though they've done a lot patch work and made Sword of the Stars 2 a decent game, the original is still better).
 

Spewn

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Space Empires V is pretty big, supports mods, and had(last time I played it) a decently active community developing said mods.
 

Scoobydo

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I bought Sword of the Stars 2 during the last Steam Sale for $7.50 or whatever it was. I've been playing it the last few days. Although I'll be hung from the nearest tree from the forum users, I'm actually finding it quite enjoyable. A few annoyances, but otherwise has scratched the 4x itch I had.
 

spacing guild

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Sins of a solar empire is cool but I hate the limitation of only being able put stuff in the circle. Tons of wasted space between stars and planets.

huh? Phase space is part of the strategy. There's no game with out the ability to jump to other planets in pre-defined lines. There is strategy to defeat and/or hinder the ability to use those lines. That's why they call it a "strategy" game.

Sins Rebellion is out on Steam. I know it's too hard for most people and there is no easy campaign to get your feet wet, but it's easily the best real time 4X space sim ever made.

I haven't seen a game yet come close...Homeworld was great fun but no where near as challenging.
 
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huh? Phase space is part of the strategy. There's no game with out the ability to jump to other planets in pre-defined lines. There is strategy to defeat and/or hinder the ability to use those lines. That's why they call it a "strategy" game.

Sins Rebellion is out on Steam. I know it's too hard for most people and there is no easy campaign to get your feet wet, but it's easily the best real time 4X space sim ever made.

I haven't seen a game yet come close...Homeworld was great fun but no where near as challenging.

+1

Add to the fact that you can uses mods that turn it into a Star Wars, Star Trek, Babylon 5, etc game.

Rebellion Titans are pretty sweet. Once they fine tune the balancing issues and mods get ported to it, it will once again be the most epic space RTS game ever made.

And yes, don't view the fixed traveling and space around the planet as wasted. It adds a lot of strategy in terms of how you position your research facilities and star bases around each planet. I really like the gravity well concept.

I do wish there was a Master of Orion 4 that just made MOO2 better instead of the fail of a game that MOO3 turned out to be. I'd also pay good money for a new Homeworld game.
 

darrpara

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Endless Space

It is still in alpha/beta but it is very good even in that stage. If you preorder it on Steam you get access to the alpha/beta and a 10% discount (game is normally $30).


Excellent game even as an Alpha. I have had a fun time playing it so far.:)
 

silent-circuit

[H]F Junkie
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Endless Space, another recommendation.

I barely understand how to play it and I still wasted 3 hours yesterday.

Also, I haven't contributed anything but I do like the whole "crowdsourced suggestions" thing the developers have going. I feel this should be encouraged.
 

John721

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Warlock and Sword of the Stars complete. There's demos out there for both.

Possibly straying from 4x into more general strategy, but I'll give "10 Min Space Strategy" a recommendation. Free and fun. Also, Conquest of Elysium 3. Not a graphical powerhouse, but again, fun.
 

ashmelev75

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I've got Endless Space (beta). Looks like a decent replacement for MOO3.
Still working to figure it out.
Noticed some performance issues. Even on small galaxy with 1 AI opponent the music starts to stutter/crackle after ~100 turns.
 

Forealz

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I keep hearing about MOO 1&2, but no one ever mentions MOO 3, which came out 7 years after 2. Why is that?
 

ashmelev75

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I keep hearing about MOO 1&2, but no one ever mentions MOO 3, which came out 7 years after 2. Why is that?

It was incomplete, lots of bugs, not sufficient graphic resolution even for 2003, too complicated jumble of everything including a kitchen sink mashed together. There were some fan patches and mods, that made it a bit more playable, but still very meh.
 

Ryom

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And Master of Orion 3 wasn't developed by the same people that did MoO1 and MoO2... one of the Quicksilver leads canned the original dev they had on as a consultant very early on because he thought he knew how to make an Orion game better than one of the guys that worked on TWO of the best games in the genre.

He didn't know how to make a better game. It was a critical failure and widely panned by fans of the originals. That's what hubris gets you ;)
 

DarkSaturn

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MoO 3 never happened! NEVER HAPPENED! You're thinking of that financial spreadsheet application that some company hilariously placed in a box labeled MoO 3.

Another +1 for Endless Space, or Galactic Civilizations II.
 

PornoSatan

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And Master of Orion 3 wasn't developed by the same people that did MoO1 and MoO2... one of the Quicksilver leads canned the original dev they had on as a consultant very early on because he thought he knew how to make an Orion game better than one of the guys that worked on TWO of the best games in the genre.

He didn't know how to make a better game. It was a critical failure and widely panned by fans of the originals. That's what hubris gets you ;)

Not to get off-topic, but that sounds exactly like what happened with Diablo 3. Canned the original developers early on, then think they can make a superior Diablo game. And it was also widely panned by fans of the originals.

I never played MoO, but I totally understand what you mean. Condolensces to fans of the originals.
 

Pez

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Endless Space +1.

Last night I had some epic fights with my Pilgrim fleets vs the bastard Cravers. They had the audacity to be the first ones to take down one of my battleship fleets in a sneak attack. I lost my five battleships, but took out 4 of their ships (destroyers I think), and crippled 2 of their dreadnoughts. Then they invaded/captured the planet that I had rightfully taken from the Horatio.

I have since created new fleets with dreadnoughts of my own, and am sweeping through Horatio and Craver space. Just as the Amoeba's did, they will both learn the price for attacking me.
 

jad0083

[H]ard DCOTM March 2022
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^ Loving Endless Space, everything just works, and probably has one of the best ambient audio/music. Doesn't look like an indie title at all.
 

Cmustang87

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If you aren't opposed to the idea of playing an older, but really great game:Warzone 2100 was an amazing game and is now free. I highly suggest it. You may find yourself killing an entire weekend for the campaign.

EDIT: I apparently didn't understand what 4X meant, and looked it up. Warzone 2100 is probably a little small for your tastes. It's still great though.
 

jad0083

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You should also check out Armada 2526. Modern but old-school style 4x and pretty hardcore. Games can become really huge and epic, if that's your cup of tea. Available in Steam
 

kioras

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Starbase orion is a good moo2 clone, for iphone/ipad devices. If you want something somewhat mobile.
 

Spewn

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You should also check out Armada 2526. Modern but old-school style 4x and pretty hardcore. Games can become really huge and epic, if that's your cup of tea. Available in Steam

I remember trying 2526, and it just didn't give me that 2525 feeling I was looking for...of course, nothing other than 2525 itself ever could. I mean, the battle music was second to none :D
 

Monkey God

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I would stay away from Endless space. While it has some potential, it needs ALOT of work before its ready for prime time. The AI still does SERIOUS cheating. "Fleet Spam", even on the brink of defeat. Theres no realistic or fair way it can field that many ships and heroes.

endless.png
 

UnknownSouljer

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I'll revive this. This is 4X godliness....

Yet another reason why Sins rules 4X space sims...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udtMWwu2zh8&feature=youtu.be

I never played Sins, but that video didn't really do it for me. I realize they were trying to show scale and scope, and in addition to that the detail on the capital ships. However, not enough interesting action. I would have preferred to see at least some of the ship blowing up, or something other than just zooming and panning around. (Of course that video doesn't really show a cross section of the game.)


In any case, I'll put out SC2. I think the gameplay is getting more interesting and more varied. Heart of the Swarm is coming out soon, and there is a big shift in gameplay and strategy for the game. I think SC2 is probably the game that has the most interesting community and multiplayer for an RTS. I'll be honest, I probably watch more commentary and replays than I actually play the game!
 

arachn1d

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I never played Sins, but that video didn't really do it for me. I realize they were trying to show scale and scope, and in addition to that the detail on the capital ships. However, not enough interesting action. I would have preferred to see at least some of the ship blowing up, or something other than just zooming and panning around. (Of course that video doesn't really show a cross section of the game.)


In any case, I'll put out SC2. I think the gameplay is getting more interesting and more varied. Heart of the Swarm is coming out soon, and there is a big shift in gameplay and strategy for the game. I think SC2 is probably the game that has the most interesting community and multiplayer for an RTS. I'll be honest, I probably watch more commentary and replays than I actually play the game!

A RTS and a 4x game are very different. They may share a similar element of strategy when in warfare but they are fundamentally very different in overall gameplay and overall strategy.
 

requiem99

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Lots of ignorance in this thread about what constitutes a 4X game... as one of my all time favourite genres if not the #1 pick, I'm somewhat butthurt. :)

The "All time best" 4x list is depressingly short.

Galciv 2 Ultimate
Master of Orion 2
Alpha Centauri
Civ IV

I might have forgotten something but that's essentially it. Of course I agree with the above posters about MOO3 -- it never happened. It was exactly as someone above said, a poorly coded lifeless spreadsheet shoved into a box with Master of Orion 3 written on it. It has as much to do with the MOO series as Bikini Karate Babes has to do with Street Fighter IV.

Do not listen to the weirdos pumping X3 -- bizarre fanboy rantings. X3 is ultra super duper slow paced spaceflight sim with business management elements, like a demented pairing of Battlecruiser 3000 and Capitalism II. I love space exploration and sims, and I love business tycoon management strategy, but I can hardly think of any game more dull and lifeless than ANY of the X games, and I've played them all extensively. The universe is boring, lifeless, drab, dull, ships are boring, you can't land on planets, it's a non-narrative open universe with almost nothing to do, and what little exists is excruciatingly slow paced, even with time compression, which is kind of pointless to play a game that is so slow you spend at least 2/3rd of your gameplay moving from place to place with a high level of time compression... and even then it takes ages! X series apologists are some of the funniest, craziest people I've ever met.

PS: Distant Worlds Return of the Shakturi deserves a look for people who have exhausted MOO2 and Galciv 2 and want more galactic macromanagement.

edit: I would have Sins of a Solar Empire on the above list but for the engine flaws (especially the hardcoded memory limit) that prevent it from being a viable choice for large scale 4X and the fact it was clearly designed as an RTS with light 4X elements, with a focus on space battles, less on noncombat empire management. It's a good game, and without the engine flaws it would even be approaching greatness, but as an RTS, not a 4X. It technically fits into the 4X genre but few hardcore 4X players consider it as such because classically 4X games require building and combat in equal measure whereas every aspect of Sins is subservient to combat.

edit2: and I'm on the fence about Endless Space. I wanted to support it right from the start, but everywhere I read hardcore 4X players were bashing the sweet hellspice out of it. How much has it improved in recent months?
 
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Megalomaniac

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I am really surprised Endless Space is not getting more attention. I do agree that the AI cheats like nobody. I haven't even won once yet... It's really hard. But that is what is making it exiting.

X3 is not a 4X game, but it is a pretty cool game. I suggest getting the mods for it. It is a space version of Elder Scroll as far as modding is concerned.
 

Pez

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The "in alpha testing" StarDrive looks like it has some promise. Their main website has some more videos all interested might want to check out.
 
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