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Old 1st May 2010, 07:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Distant Worlds is a little gem of a game by a New Zealand developer and being marketed through Matrix Games.

It is starting to attract a fair amount of attention and I think it will end up being one of the 'must have' strategy titles in the future - like Europa Universalis I guess.

The game has been described as a 'spread-sheet 4X' game because there seems to be screeds of info on all aspects of the game. But don't be put off by that.

The basic premis is that the AI will run all aspects of your empire for you and you can step in an take over something in particular when-ever you want to. So you can micro-manage or not as much as you like. You can't directly make decisions regarding civilian ships such as freighters etc but everything else can be controlled.

Most games require you to make a certain amount of the choices and decisions such as ship building, colony selection, diplomacy, trading etc. But Distant Worlds will handle it all if you want it to. Or you can step in and take over at any point.

I wrote a short AAR and posted it in the Matrix forum if anyone is interested...
Opening Moves AAR
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Old 18th May 2010, 01:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Spat! I just picked this up on Friday, I havne't had a ton of time to devote to it, but I would love to hear any tips / tricks / etc that you've gathered!

Thanks.
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Old 19th May 2010, 06:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My version is acting up at the moment which is really disappointing. This is the most enjoyable game I've played for a long time.

I'd suggest starting with only a few AI empires and make sure both you and the AI have the same basic starting parameters. I don't usually play the games out, just until I know I can't lose.
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Old 19th May 2010, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, one thing that's always annoyed me in many of these types of strategy games is that the AI doesn't know when it's beat and should just quit or give all of their allegiance/resources/ships to you or better yet, one of your rivals.
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Old 21st May 2010, 06:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There are win-conditions such as controlling 50% of the colonies etc (I've had mine set to 70% but never reached it yet). Where this game does balance this out some-what is that the home-world tends to be the all-important planet for the empire so even if they lose everything else, they can still be a thorn in your side.

They also have a 'bad-boy' factor that can turn the other empires against you if you do the wrong thing too much. I've been impressed with how this has been working within the game.
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Old 21st May 2010, 07:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, I like the way this games uses AI. One of the other issues with these types of games is that they tend to slow down the longer the game goes on as you end up in micromanagement hell. I think there can be a few different ways to avoid but using AI to assist the player is probably one of the better ones.
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Old 21st May 2010, 07:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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looks very much like MOO3 (is that what it was called?), does it take the gameplay further along?
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Old 22nd May 2010, 10:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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MOO3!? Wash your mouth out!

People have flagged that DW is what MOO3 should/could have been as a worthy successor to MOO2. I didn't play much of MOO2 as I enjoyed 'Stars!' more at the time but from memory you traveled along warp points to the different systems like many of the current 4X games. In this game there are no warp points - you can pretty much travel from one side of the galaxy to the other from the start of the game. It is the sheer scale that keeps you honest as you will most likely be frantically exploring the hundreds of systems in your sector before you can venture beyond.

It really is very different to any other 4X game and comparisons can end up being misleading. Reading the DW forum there seem to be a lot of hard core strategy gamers who are frustrated with the game because it can flip on its head in an instance. For example, there are massive capital ships floating around in space waiting to be discovered. Get one of these early in the piece and you are suddenly the most powerful player in the game. On top of that there are groups of derelict ships where you can send constructors to fix them. Suddenly you have a fleet of these over-powered ships. Even the small random colonies of aliens drastically change the course of the game. Find a small colony of Ice dwelling aliens and take it over, now all the ice planets are colonisable which doubles the number of colonies you can have.

I thoroughly enjoy the game though, pretty much for the same reasons. I treat it as much as a RPG as a strategy game and each new discovery or acquisition is just another flip in the plot.

I think the developers are looking at balancing some of these issues in the next major patch.
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