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[LP] Space Empires V (NSF56K): ♫Technobabblin' makes us feel good♫

SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Games and Technology
Menus, menus, and MORE menus: a runthrough on game setup
Part 01
Aw, what the fuck
Contact! Lots of contact!
Atten-HU! Ship design tutorial and Reploid Commonwealth naval report on deck!
Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the using of strength
In varietate concordia

Maestro! Some fitting music, if you will!
It is the dawn of the 25th century, and the galaxy stirs. For millions of years across the cosmos, beings mundane and magnificent have battled the elements and one another to reign supreme above all others of their world. With their ascension from beastdom came the spark of thought and ingenuity, and through millennia of development and refinement absolute dominion. With the challenges of their homeworlds defeated, these beings now prepare to take their first steps into the infinity of the stars: some will find stalwart allies, while others bloodthirsty warmongers, shrewd traders, and enigmas whose existance and nature defy explanation. By force and facade, each will fight one another for supremecy in the galaxy, and in the end there may be only one Space Empire.

What is this?

Space Empires V is a turn-based strategy game of galactic conquest, a 4X title (Explore, Expand, Eploit, Exterminate) in the same vein as Master of Orion, Civilization, Alpha Centauri, and many others. Developed by Malfador Machinations, the series is known for its deep level of variability and customization, with players able to tweak everything about their race from the ship designs they use to inherent advantages and weaknesses, and is also extremily accessable for modding.

What makes this game so special?

While it's understandable to compare this to Master of Orion and other games, there's quite a lot to the Space Empires games that really give them a flavor of their own. Ask yourself the following:

Do you like:

*Being able to design your stuff to have any kind of equipment you want?
*Super-long research trees with all sorts of awesome stuff unlocked at the end?
*Blowing up planets and making new ones from the rubble, making suns explode or causing them to collapse in upon themselves while taking every object in the system with them, and screwing around with the fabric of space itself to make your own travel routes?
*Stellar constructs like ringworlds and dyson spheres?
*In-depth negotiation and relationship systems that include include protectorates, subjugation, economic and research trading all the way to buddy-buddy alliances?
*All sorts of interesting and unique equipment types, from electronic warfare countermeasures to biological weapons (including both traditional and actually-living-organism varieties!) and bombs capable of turning entire planets into a raging inferno?
*Waging war by force and facade, from standard ship-based combat to sabotaging facilities, stealing schematics, and inciting planetary rebellions?
*Conquoring an enemy's planet, then gathering the entire populace into freighters and ransoming them back to their original owner under threat of spacing the whole lot of them? (multiplayer only)
*Huge honkin' space battles with up to a hundred or so ships to a side? All of which're about the size of a Star Destroyer or larger?
*Being able to tweak shit just the way you want it, or ripping the guts out of the system and reassembling it the way you want to?

Then this here game is for you.

Wasn't someone else doing this?

Yes and no. Khavall was doing what I'm presuming was a vanilla LP several months ago, but I shot him a message and he's given his blessings so long as I get it done before 2011 rolls around, which hopefully I'll manage.

Are you actually going to finish this?

Yes - well, barring extraneous circumstances of course. Since I'm screenshotting this sucker I no longer have to worry about sounding like an idiot, and the text nature means I can cut out all the boring shit.

How's this going to go down?

While Space Empires V has the capacity to be (and truly shines as) a multiplayer game, this is going to be a single-player runthrough for the sake of time and getting stuff actually done, using screenshots and presenting updates whenever things of interest happen. Mostly-standard rules, though I'm going to be using low-cost tech to get things up to speed faster than normal and simaltanious action instead of sequential. I'm also running a bit of a tweak on the standard rules to up the ante a bit: we're gonna' have bigger ships to cram more stuff into, and we're gonna' have bigger ship yards to churn out these bigger ships and keep things flowing.

That don't mean I'm just gonna' plod along with whatever the game feels like throwing at me. Oh no. You folks're gonna' get in on this shit.

As said, one of the beautiful things about Space Empires in general is that you can pretty much gussy things up the way you want, and that includes the empires that're playing. So this is the deal: you folks who want to, you shoot me a PM with race details and I'll slot 'em in, and as this LP goes on we'll see how things go down, maybe we'll wind up having some awesome conflicts between several player races, or maybe they'll get wiped out in the beginning: who knows?

Submissions are now closed!
I'm just keepin' this stuff around for posterity and the like.
EMPIRE NAME: The name of your empire. Can be the name of your species, but not nessecarily.
EMPIRE TYPE: The type of your empire. You can use just about anything you can think of, but if you need some reference here's a dump from the file the AI uses: Empire, Hegemony, Alliance, Oligarchy, Confederation, Protectorate, Consortium, Federation, Commonwealth, Imperium, Hive, Clan, Society, Collective
EMPEROR TITLE: What's your position of leadership?
EMPEROR NAME: That's you!
RACE FLAG: See RACE SHIPSET.
RACE PORTRAIT: Easy enough. Get me a nice picture of what your people look like, and I'll do all the work of cropping and inserting it for you.
RACE SHIPSET: Now in the old days of Space Empires IV it used to be easy as piss to import stuff, but since V uses a 3D engine for ship models and such it really throws a spanner in the works So here's what we're gonna' do: I'm gonna' hoist the different flag and shipset samples out for you folks to see and you can pick from them as you want. Pick seven or eight of them and put them in an order of preference, 'cause if someone whose message got to me before yours already snagged it I'm going to swap yours out for something different to avoid confusion (moreso with flags than shipsets, really). When you're selecting a flag or shipset or whatever, link to it in the PM so I know exactly what you want and thus don't get bombarded with complaints because X flag looks like 3 other flags as well Also, if you know of a user-made shipset you want to use like those on SpaceEmpires.net then give me a link when you send this stuff in.
RACE NAME: Singular and plural forms, please.
PHYSICAL TYPE: Basically the term that comes to mind when describing your race in one word. To dump from another one of the data files, you can have stuff like Felinoid, Caninoid, Serpentoid, Ornithoid, Insectoid, Humanoid, Reptilian, Crystalline, Energy Being, Symbiotic, Gaseous, Aquatic, Mechanoid, and Techno-Organic, though if you've got a better idea throw it up there.
PLANET TYPE: Rock, Ice, or Gas.
ATMOSPHERE: None, Oxygen, Methane, Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide

Here's a sampler of stuff from the game for you to choose from for flags and shipset and shit:

FLAGS:
UkraTal_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral005_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral006_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral007_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral008_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral009_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral010_Flag_Texture.jpg
Norak_Flag_Texture.jpg
Phong_Flag_Texture.jpg
Sergetti_Flag_Texture.jpg
Sithrak_Flag_Texture.jpg
Abbidon_Flag_Texture.jpg
Amonkrie_Flag_Texture.jpg
CueCappa_Flag_Texture.jpg
Drushocka_Flag_Texture.jpg
Eee_Flag_Texture.jpg
Jraenar_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral001_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral002_Flag_Texture.jpg
Neutral003_Flag_Texture.jpg
Terran_Flag_Texture.jpg
XiChung_Flag_Texture.jpg
Xiati_Flag_Texture.jpg

SHIPSETS:
Abbidon_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Amonkrie_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
CueCappa_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Default_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Drushocka_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Eee_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Jraenar_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Norak_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Phong_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Sithrak_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Terran_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
UkraTal_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
XiChung_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
Xiati_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg

RACES:
Abbidon_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Amonkrie_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
CueCappa_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Drushocka_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Eee_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Jraenar_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral001_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral002_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral003_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral004_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral005_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral006_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral007_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral008_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral009_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Neutral010_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Norak_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Phong_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Sergetti_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Sithrak_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Terran_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Ukratal_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
XiChung_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
Xiati_Race_LargePortrait.jpg

Now we get into the stuff that actually affects your game signifigantly: traits, governments, and so on.

GOVERNMENT: Anarchy, Democracy, Corporate, Republic, Oligarchy, Theocracy, Monarchy, Tyranny, Hive, Collective. Oligarchy is considered a neutral ground with no benifits or disadvantages. The further left you go, the better your research and population assimilation capabilities are, but the more fickle your people's temperment, the less tolorent they are of war, and the more vulnerable your society to intelligence activities: the further right you go, the worse your research and assimilation but the better your defense against espionage and the like and the more controllable your people. Each step is five points to each benifit or weakness, with Collectives being an oddball at 25% without a liberal match.
RACIAL TRAITS: And now we get to the real customization. Traits are basically strengths or weaknesses of your race, kinda' like in MoO 2. Now in vanilla they were actually pretty bland and vulnerable to abuse, but I've taken the liberty of doing some shuffling and weighing and shit, and the results seem pretty satisfactory. There are three kinds of traits: basic, advanced, and technologic, and in this runthrough I'm going with 3000 points for traits.

BASIC traits are things like productivity, research capacity, reproduction, combat ability, and so on and are checked at 5, 10, and 25-point bonuses or penalties. 5-point bonuses are 100 points, 10s are 250, and 25s are 1000 points, while penalties are half those values: 50, 125, and 500 for -5, -10, and -25 respectively. Basic traits include Mineral/Organic/Radioactive Resource Extraction, Research, Intelligence (espionage) construction, combat morale, ground and boarding combat, environmental resistance, reproduction, and population happiness.

ADVANCED traits are specific boons to your race. They include

EMOTIONLESS: Population is neither happy or angry. 0 points. (since population happiness can give you increased productivity on your planets I wouldn't reccomend this, though if you wanna' play up your role or something feel free)
ADVANCED POWER CONSERVATION: Supply usage by all space vehicles is reduced by 25%. 500 points.
MECHANOIDS: Race is not affected by plagues. 250 points.
LUCKY: Race is 50% less likely to suffer bad events. 250 points.
NATURAL MERCHANTS: Population does not need spaceports to deliver resources. 250 points, but worthless to be honest.
ANCIENT RACE: Race has seen the entire galaxy. 250 points. Useless to AI, just mentioning it.
PROPULSION EXPERTS: Race gains 1 extra movement point. 500 points.
ADVANCED STORAGE TECHNIQUES: Race gains 25% extra capacity for cargo and 10% more space for facilities on planets. 500 points. Especially useful if you find or make a Dyson Sphere.

TECHNOLOGY opens up unique areas of science that you and you only can utilize, since Space Empires checks for this trait any time it considers a related tech. All techs are 1000 points.

CRYSTALLURGY: Your ships use Radioactives for their main component, and you gain access to crystal-based technology including shield-generating armor, beam-dampening components, armor-piercing weapons, and resource-generating facilities.
ORGANIC: Your ships use Organics for their main component, and you gain access to organic-based technology including regenerating armor, biological ordinance factories, a slew of organic weapons, and facilities related to population health and happiness including cloning and plague prevention.
TEMPORAL: You gain access to temporal technology that allows you to fuck around with time, and includes such things as temporal space yards (double the production rate of regular ones) temporal sensors, shield accelerators (damage shields only) time distortion bursts (4x damage to shields, plus normal) time shifted (skips shields and armor, though I don't know if that includes phased shields) temporal tachyon cannons, weapon phase accelerators (adds more time to the target's reload) and facilities like the events predictor (less bad events) and temporal vacation services (population happiness).
PSYCHIC: You gain access to psychic technology: psychic ship and fleet training facilities (double the efficiency of regular ones and works on all ships in a system instead of in the sector) telekinetic projectors, mind flayers (OK, Mental Flailers, which increase weapon reload times) psychic sensors, allegience subverters (chance to take over the minds of the crew of your target for the duration of a battle) psychic whiplash (disrupts target control) mental singularities, and stupifiers (reduce target crew experience).
RELIGIOUS: You gain access to religious technology (ba dum pish) which includes a religious talisman component to increase weapons fire accuracy, totems to increase experience, weapon damage, and stealth and various shrines that increase productivity, planet value and conditions, population happiness, weapon damage and decrease bad event probability.

So for example, you could go with:

Mining -25: -500
Organics +25: 1000
Refining -25: -500
Reproduction +25: 1000
Research +10: 250
Intelligence +10: 250
Morale -5: -50
Construction -5: -50
Population Happiness +5: 100
Organic Technology: 1000
Propulsion Experts: 500

for a total of 3000 points.

SOCIETY is normally used to give you an additional bump in capabilities - things like warriors having better combat but worse research, researchers having bonuses to science, and so on - but to be honest the balance for it is so out of whack that I'm going to be rolling everybody as modded neutrals with no alterations (hence why I'm using 3000 racial trait points instead of the standard 2000).

And finally, some fluff material, not nessecary at all but still interesting if you want to spare the time:

BIOLOGY: What makes your race tick?
SOCIETY: How's your race composed?
HISTORY: What notable events led your race to their excursion into the stars?
I've gotten all the submissions in and once I take care of a deadline skirter I'll start actually playing, so expect an update in the next day or two.

Sorenson on

Posts

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    sweet love this game,

    sent you a pm, man that takes longer than just cliking boxes

    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    One down, eight to go. Come now, is there no one amongst all of you who wants to live forever (or at least until your planet is seared from pole to pole by anti-proton beam fire)? No one who wishes to achieve apotheosis and ascend to higher existance? No one who wants to rule with an iron fist to the sweet song of the lamenting of wives and mothers?

    Sorenson on
  • XtarathXtarath Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Sent you a PM, looking forward to this.

    Xtarath on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I give this LP my blessing. And hope that it fares better than mine.


    Just remember.


    when you get to the end game it will take you about a day to record enough shots for one fucking update and you will want to kill everything ever.

    And you will try.

    But it will still take forever.

    Khavall on
  • Kane Red RobeKane Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Sure, why not?

    Kane Red Robe on
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Wonderful. I bought this game and it's way too much for me. This will be very useful.

    EDIT - Okay, let me figure out the profile editor...

    EDIT EDIT - Dammit, not now. I have to not fail discrete mathematics.

    Cantido on
    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
  • AbdhyiusAbdhyius Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't have to really know about the game to make a race here?

    Because I wouldn't mind making some aliens

    Abdhyius on
    ftOqU21.png
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Abdhyius wrote: »
    I don't have to really know about the game to make a race here?

    Because I wouldn't mind making some aliens
    It helps, but if you just want to throw out an idea for the heck of it feel free to (and there's nothing quite like learning that your blind-luck creation would up erasing another from the fabric of time or glassed a system's worth of planets with giant plasma-launching anuses).

    Methinks I might have launched this a wee bit too early - I'm going to hold off on starting this until wednesday or friday so that the normal weekday people get a chance to see this and shoot some stuff in, seeing's how the weekends are usually slow 'round these parts.

    Sorenson on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This here's just a reminder and refresher post for anybody who might've forgotten about submitting or hasn't seen this thread in the first place: this LP will be started on Friday so make sure if you're submitting to get your stuff in by then.

    Sorenson on
  • AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Ha, this game is pretty awesome.

    Race/Empire details sent!

    Axen on
    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Part 00: Down the Mechanical Rabbit Hole We Go

    Before I start: last warning to anybody who wants to submit an empire, you've got until about noon EST (-5 or so GST, methinks) tomorrow to get your stuff in or to do any revisions!

    I'm technically not starting the game until friday, but there's no reason I can't do a little something before then. And seeing as how one of the major things that makes Space Empires V what it is the sheer depth of customization of both its settings and content, that's exactly where I plan to begin. So settle yourself down, 'cause we're gonna' take a look at just how customizeable this game can be.
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    (Yes, it actually does sound like it's part of something larger and was crudely snipped out. No, I don't know why. I usually use the Sins of a Solar Empire theme in its stead)

    00-01.jpg

    And here's where it all begins. The main menu's nothing really spectacular, though it is certainely snazzy-looking at the least, and its functions are the standard fare:

    QUICK START lets you launch right into a game using the standard ruleset: you just choose from one of the main races and it's game on.
    NEW GAME's where the real fun starts: you're able to choose your ruleset and get into all the different customization options that make the Space Empire games so neat in the first place.
    RESUME GAME, LOAD GAME, TUTORIAL, CREDITS, and QUIT work as advertised
    SCENARIOs are an interesting spin on new games: they're basically saved games that have certain amounts of scripting and arrangement by whomever made them
    , with each scenario usually having an established goal or giving you some unique starting position or power to abuse as you see fit. In Space Empires IV, there were several that shipped with the original game and included stuff like "starbase engineer gets his station sucked into an anomoly, makes his base self-sufficient and sets out to conquor the galaxy", but SEV only comes with the tutorial.

    00-02.jpg

    When you start a New Game, the first thing you'll be greeted by is the game type menu. Game types are the different rulesets that can be used in a game, and contain all the data files that differentiate it from the Standard SEV mechanics: settings and values, scripts, images, races, you name it. It's literily as easy as creating a new folder in the GameTypes directory and copying the files and folders you're tweaking.

    00-03A.jpg

    And here's where the real fun begins. Once you actually select a game type to play, you're taken to the game setup screen where you can adjust just about any factor with a tangible effect, from choosing your map type, size and composition and creating custom empires for players to more gameplay-skewed options.

    As you might've guessed, we're currently looking at the map screen and I've generated a sample quadrant for you to gawk at. Normally when you first hit this screen the map's empty: if players are feeling rather lucky they can let the game generate the map at the start of the game, or you can make one then and there and do some tweaking. How the map is generated is affected by the Quadrant Type setting as well as the map options below the map itself:

    Each quad type dictates both the general shape and the inherent properties of the quadrant map when you generate a map with it. Most merely affect system placement and how each system connects to its neighbors, but Ancients are interesting in that you've got a higher chance of having nebulas (system-spanning suckers resulting from star explosions) and black holes instead of the regular sun and planets and whatnot. There are a number of mods which tweak how the game designs systems: Fyron's Quadrant Mod, for example, adjusts settings so that certain planet types appear only at certain distances from a system's sun, with rock being closest, gas giants next, and ice planets out in the boonies.

    MID-LIFE is up above.

    CLUSTER

    00-03B.jpg

    GALACTIC EDGE

    00-03C.jpg

    SPIRAL ARM

    00-03D.jpg

    GRID

    00-03E.jpg

    ANCIENT

    00-03F.jpg

    DIAMOND

    00-03G.jpg

    The map options, meanwhile, dictate particular map characteristics: map size determines the number of systems to generate (10 to 20, 30 to 60, and 60 to 100 on low, medium and high respectively). All Warp Points Connected means that the galaxy is one big, happy interconnected place, and disabling this can cut chunks of it off during galaxy generation (as happened with Khavall :p) whereas No Warp Points means every system's isolated and requires warp point tech to have any transit whatsoever. With Finite Resources, instead of each planet having a percentage rate that affects how good or bad it is for harvesting a resource, each planet has a set amount of resources that, when depleted, is gone for good until you use a facility to restore those resources.

    Players also have the ability to save maps they've generated and load up those they've saved already, and also have the ability to dictate WHERE in the quadrant each player starts: those red orbs on the Mid-Life map above are those that're selected for such, and if there's enough of them when the game starts the game will shuffle through them and randomly place people amongst them unless there're more players than starting systems, in which case it just throws them around willy-nilly.

    00-04A.jpg

    Empire Customization is a pretty big part of SEV game setup: in addition to creating your own custom empires you can adjust the various bonuses or penalties applied to certain empires or to every empire in a game, as well as adjust certain empire-related factors like research rates and whatnot.

    TECHNOLOGY COST is a half, regular, double deal for technology costs, and that's that.
    STARTING RESOURCES is self-explanatory.
    HOME PLANET VALUE is as well, probably more important in finite resources games. For that matter, so's NUMBER OF STARTING PLANETS.
    HOME PLANET SIZE is an on-or-off setup that, when active, means everybody starts with the same Large size for their homeworld, so having it off apparently means you can have anything from tiny (five sodding facilities) up to Huge (25) - I wouldn't know, to be honest.
    EMPIRE PLACEMENT dictates where the game will toss each player's homeworld throughout the quadrant. By default SEV spreads them around as evenly as possible and prevents them from starting in the same system, though these can be inverted for some next-door-neighbor shennannigans.
    TECHNOLOGY POINTS FOR NEW PLAYERS adjusts the starting tech points for any empire created AFTER a value (ranging from zilch to a hundred thousand, a million, ten million, and ALL) is selected, and the empires can spend these points to boost their starting tech if they ge
    t any points and aren't maxed.
    RACIAL POINTS FOR NEW PLAYERS adjusts the number of points the empire gets to spend on its racial traits, with values ranging from zilch to 2000, 3000, and 5000.
    RANDOM COMPUTER PLAYERS comes in two distinct flavors: you can have RCPs who control FULL empiers, which are bog-standard empires that travel and conquor the galaxy and all that, and RCP Neutral Empires, which're mini-empires that start in one system and will only develop that system, and which will never leave that system (and as such will be crushed by the might of your 20-system empire's warfleet). You can also adjust the number of RCPs from low, medium or high (1-3, 3-7, 6-10), their difficulty (easy, medium, hard) and their own racial points (none, 2K, 3K, 5K). Finally, like with maps you can make empires and then save them or load up previous ones you've stashed away.

    The actual empire screenS'RE pretty straightforward, and since it was discussed in the first post for people who'd want to submit their own empires I'll skip explanations for now.

    00-04B.jpg
    00-04C.jpg
    00-04D.jpg
    00-04E.jpg
    00-04F.jpg
    00-04G.jpg
    00-04H.jpg

    00-05.jpg

    These here game options let you tweak more obscure aspects of an SEV game.

    ALL SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN SEEN BY ALL PLAYERS is like a free Ancient Race trait for every player, useful for getting things a bit quicker without having to comb each system for its planets.
    SIGHT SETTINGS change how players see stuff: I'll let the image explain each option.
    EVENTS are random little occurrances that pop up and can have a myriad of good effects for your empire: some are good, like finding derilect ships in space or scientific breakthroughs or what-have-you, while others are not-so-good and include the likes of plague breakouts, ships getting warped halfway across the quadrant, and planets and suns exploding with no provocation. For this playthrough we're using low frequency with catastrophic severity (when it rains, it fucking pours).
    MAXIMUM UNITS/SHIPS PER PLAYER sets how many ships and units the game'll allow you to have, and comes in 100, 200, 500, 1K, 2K, 5K, 10K, and 20K flavors. We're rolling with 20K, of course.
    GAMEPLAY OPTIONS are a collection of odds and ends that don't really fit into one catagory. Amongst them are CHEAT CODES CAN BE USED (not here) TEAM MODE, in which the AI buddies up to destroy the human players (nope) NO TACTICAL COMBAT (SEV combat comes in two flavors, Strategic and Tactical, with Tactical being an in-depth fully-controllable battle and Strategic executing stuff based on the strategies you assign units) NO RUINS (which removes little technology-goodie-basket elements from planets and a few ruins-only techs) and ALLOW MAP SAVES DURING THE GAME (lets you save the quadrant as-is, useful if you're writing scenarios or specialty maps).

    Finally, PLAYER RESTRICTIONS are options that dictate how players can interact with one another or go about doing certain things:
    PLAYERS CAN GIVE GIFTS
    PLAYERS CAN GIVE TECHNOLOGY THROUGH GIFTS AND TRADES
    PLAYERS CAN COMPLETILY SURRENDER (Makes it possible to bully an empire to the point of where they'll submit to your will if you ask them nicely, by default they go down with the sinking space empire)
    PLAYERS CAN CONDUCT INTELLIGENCE PROJECTS (Some folks prefer traditional out-and-out warfare, but nothing's quite as fun as watching enemy planets and ships rebel or join your side)
    PLAYERS CAN SEE THE ENTIRE TECHNOLOGY TREE
    PLAYERS CAN ONLY COLONIZE BREATHABLE ATMOSPHERES (In stock SEV you can colonize any planet regardless of its atmosphere, but you'll be living in a dome in which you have a fifth of the total facility, cargo and population space until you use a facility to change the atmosphere)
    PLAYERS CAN ONLY COLONIZE THEIR HOME PLANET TYPE (Players start off with their home planet type already researched, but can look into colonizing the other two after an investment)

    00-06.jpg

    Next up, multiplayer stuff. SEV has full multiplayer support and has a number of different options to adjust how you player this sucker, from same-machine hotseat and play-by-e-mail to full-blown direct connections.

    00-07.jpg

    And finally, the victory conditions page. By default SEV is a deathmatch game, but you can also add in various conditions that'll choose a winner based on how players're doing. You can choose from several of them, and the game'll wait for all to be fulfilled before picking a winner. We'll be using a tweaked Peace Throughout the Quadrant option, set for 50 years.

    00-08.jpg

    The nicest thing of all? You can save the entire game setup you're painstakingly gone through (including the map, but not the empires interestingly enough) then pull it up later and saving you the work of having to set everything every time.
    In the next update we'll have more pictures, less text, and actual gameplay, so stick around.

    Sorenson on
  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE MENUS!

    Is this game nicely patched yet? Last time I tried it it freaked out and basically committed suicide. That made me sad, as SE IV Gold is one of my all time favorite games.

    Kris_xK on
    calvinhobbessleddingsig2.gif
  • IgelIgel Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    PM sent, just before the deadline. I won't be put out if you don't use it though. Looking forward to what develops, I always like reading screenshot LPs.

    Igel on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Let him that would move the world first move himself
    And so our story begins, moreso in this next spoiler.
    Who are we to destroy what we create when what we create is ourselves?

    In the 22nd century, man had finally achieved what for decades had been an impossability. Self-aware machines, capable of free will and thought as complex - moreso, even - as that of humans ushered in a golden age of technological and social progress. Man had given life to himself, cast in steel and silicon instead of flesh and blood - but the free will that made his creation so adept was that which made his creation so dangerous. Some of the machines, stronger, faster, and smarter than their flesh-and-blood creators, deemed themselves the superior race.

    And why not? Our superiority was iron-clad fact, just as the superiority of man over beast. Before the might of the rebellious machines, humans were insignifigant, forced to rely upon their own machines to fight against the Mavericks. It was only by the grace of the strongest and good-willed of all their creations that they avoided extinction.

    The evils wrought by those who rebelled endangered more than humanity, however. In many eyes, every one of us, no matter how good our will or neutral our position, was the enemy; every one of us was a timebomb waiting to explode. In casting his creation in his own image and in his own mind, man had cast us with his own capacity for good and evil, and just as our violent bretheren had sought to destroy man, man sought to destroy us and strip us of our will and being. And soon enough, one acted as many thought and began his campaign of extinction against our kind and those humans who still saw us as equals. Countless died by his hand, and many fought for survival.

    We? We fled.

    If man and his creation could not live in harmony, then they would not live together at all. One voice rose above all others to preach the advancement of our people by the abandonment of humanity, and this voice was soon echoed by many. As the war between man and machine flared once more, a vessel was built to ferry away those who sought to escape from man, and as the earth was engulfed in fire we cast our birthworld aside and left for the stars.
    Reploid_Race_LargePortrait.jpg
    But salvation was not ours yet. When finally we pushed beyond the speed of light and normal existance, our vessel clipped a spatial anomoly. The vessel was ripped apart and flung across the cosmos, leaving us at the mercy of the universe. The universe, however, took pity on us; what remained of our ark had been sent near a planet suitable for landing, and with our remaining power we engineered a crash landing. And thus we came to our new home: Elysium.

    Our losses were severe: many who had boarded the ship were lost, and with them much of the knowledge and resources taken for the journey. Generations of technology, lost in an instant, and all that remained was rudimentery knowledge of science and our own being. But we were free, and we were capable of rebuilding everything we lost, and rebuild we did. For 200 years, we tamed the frontiers of terrain and technology, and as the 24th century comes to a close we are ready to sail the cosmos once for.

    What awaits us amongst the stars? Will we once more be persecuted and hunted as our forefathers were in centuries past? Will we finally meet those who understand our nature, or perhaps those who are our equals? The answer is anyone's guess, but our response is anything but: we, the Reploid Commonwealth, will bow to none.
    (So basically because I'm a huge fanboy and shit I'm running around as something out of a god damn Mega Man X fanfic minus any titular characters or storyline elements besides "robots with free will". We've got major bonuses to research, intelligence and construction, Temporal technology (Flash Man, yo) and Mechanoids, with medium hits to mineral and radioactive resources and a huge hit to organics and Reproduction. We're rock-dwelling oxygen-breathers, which is actually fortunate as you'll see below. We've also got bonuses to research as a Democracy, but also susceptability to Intel as a result.)

    Maestro! Some music, if you will!

    01-01.jpg
    Ours is a fortunate lot: our astronomers, through their scrying of the system, have determined that three of the planets in our home system are suitable for colonization as-is, two of them with oxygen atmospheres.

    (So here's the main system screen, where most business goes down: in the upper left corner we've got system abilities, which entail such things as whether our resources get sent to the resource pool and how much we can supply our ships on a turn, as well as more nifty things like if we can use stellar manipulation tech or if someone's blocking us. Top-center's a menu hotbar leading to stuff like construction queues, research and intel, diplomacy and all that, and in the upper-right our resources, currently displaying Research and Intel but switchable to Minerals, Organics, and Radioactives. On the bottom you've got the quadrant map (I'm using "all players've seen the galaxy" just to get shit started quicker and with a pre-genned map to ensure we don't get any wierdness like with Khavall) information about whatever you've got selected, and an action panal where you can give commands to whatever you're targetting.)
    01-02.jpg
    Plans are drawn for colonization vessels...

    (This here's the main ship design screen, where we create and design new ships and units. Right now we've got two designs finalized: a rock colony ship so we can start expanding, and a freighter to haul shit like colonists or units around from planet to planet.
    01-03.jpg
    ...and their designs sent to the Elysian shipyards...

    (And here's the construction screen. Here, you can order any colony to build units and facilities and any colony or ship with a shipyard to build vessels and other things at a better rate than non-shipyard stuff. You can queue up multiple projects of multiple amounts, order facility upgrades, break shit down if you capture enemy ships, and give colonies and ships specific orders like Emergency Build (2x build rate for up to 10 turns, then .5x rate for how many emergency turns you had) Repeat Build (goes down the list, then back up once it hits the end and starts again) and Hold (pauses building, useful in resource crunches without losing progress).
    01-04.jpg
    ...while our researchers, as always, look to push the boundries of our knowledge and power.

    (The reseaarch screen. Technology isn't a "get X, move onto Y, get Y, move onto Z" deal like in other games, but each tech has a level that dictates the performance of stuff linked to it and unlocks other techs and items at certain levels. You can assign each tech a percent of your research budget, so you can plow all your stuff into one field (like I'm going to do with Temporal Studies) or spread it around and level up a whole bunch over a while.)
    01-05.jpg
    In 2400.2, our first Tycoon colonizer was built, and with 49 million of the most stalwart of Reploids, set out to colonize our planetary siblings.

    (And here we go. When you colonize a planet, you get prompted with a menu of different colony types to choose from, each one having its own particulars when you have the AI running the place: they'll cram themselves full of their primary resource facility and upgrade facilities as such becomes possible. This planet's not really good for harvesting, so I'm going to use it for a combo Research/Intel compound with a Space Yard to help the war effort when we hit that part.
    01-06.jpg
    By the end of the year, every colonizeable planet was under our control, boosting our mineral and radioactives stocks considerably. With Gretok ours, it's time to consolidate our defenses, and our chief designer has just the design we're looking for: a Weapon Platform capable of ground-to-space combat.
    01-07.jpg
    (In Space Empires it's not just about big hulking spaceships and bases: units are specialty constructs designed for various tasks ships aren't suitable for. Weapon Platforms take up cargo space on a planet and act as extra guns when the shootin' starts, and my Minuteman's missiles let it have first-strike capability while also shooting down any missiles shot back in kind. A good number of these suckers on a planet will give any ship attacking it a real run for their money. And it's a damned good thing I started making them, as two turns later...)
    01-08.jpg

    Battle stations! Battle stations! Unidentified craft approaching Gretok 9! Range, 5,000 light-seconds and closing! This is not a drill!

    01-09.jpg
    (And here's a sucker to give a run! Unlike the system view, combat in Space Empires takes place in controllable real-time, and it functions like your typical RTS: the ships and whatnot will follow their own AI (and it's the only thing that guides them in Strategic combat, which is hands-off and suitable for simaltanious games) but in Tactical you can give ships and fleets specific orders, not to mention see all the fightin' go down in 3D instead of watching some radar blips. Anyway, here's our planet and the intended victim, and that little swatch of white up at the top? That's the name of our attacker. And as for who he is, I'll let you sweat it out a bit.)
    01-10.jpg
    (Space Empires V gives you all sorts of neat little options to help you out during tactical combat - here, we've got it set so that ships and whatever have their names, damage levels, flight paths and maximum weapon range all displayed.)
    01-11.jpg
    (Another neat thing is that when in combat you can select any unit and right-click their info down at the bottom, and you'll get a window with all the information you can possibly get about the target, so it's easier to prioritize who's the most dangerous and if they're dangerous at all. This frigate certainely isn't, as all he's got are two Depleted Uranium Cannons, the game's starting weapon.)
    01-12.jpg
    Enemy vessel has entered Minuteman range! All platforms, FIRE!
    01-13.jpg
    01-14.jpg
    (And this dude is fucked good and proper, sent careening out of control with explosions ripping through his hull before evaporating in a ring of red-hot metal vapor)
    01-15.jpg
    That we are not alone is both our greatest hope and our deepest fear. Combing through the ship's wreckage, our analysts are able to piece together enough scrap to give us a fuzzy picture of our assailent: a humanoid race our translators figure as the "Jraenar".
    01-16.jpg
    (Ah, the diplomacy screen, something Khavall certainely didn't get to for quite a while. Here, you handle all the issues of diplomacy and treaties and whatnot. Asides from sending messages, the Diplomacy Screen provides you with some handy information like estimations on enemy strength, technology levels, colonial and industrial presence, and so on.)
    01-17.jpg
    (Messages are the primary function od the diplomacy screen, and there are a shitload of options you can take. You can just send standard text or you can make declarations, surrender, treaties and alliances, send gifts and demand tributes, or sic your friends on your enemies.)
    01-18.jpg
    Using salvaged data from the Jraenar wreck, we've determined a general frequency for communication, and decide to give them a bit of advice.
    01-19.jpg
    Their response was less than what we'd hoped for...
    01-20.jpg
    ...so if they want to play hardball, we're quite game.

    (And I'll end this installment with a bit on the Intelligence aspect of SEV. In addition to just blasting the shit out of your enemies with superior firepower, you can also mess around with them through espionage and sabotage. The actual capabilities of each field are pretty diverse and deep: you can swipe blueprints and technolgy information, mess up their own attempts to develop tech, sabotage planetary facilities and ships and even incite mutinies and rebellions on ships and planets. You can spend part of your own intel to prevent other races from attacking you, or just say to hell with it and blast them with all sorts of covert ops.
    Have we escaped persecution in one world only to run into it on several more? Is their any hope of recovery for Reploid-Jraenar relations? Will we get less techno-babble and more genocide and sabotage? Find out in the next episode of Let's Play Space Empires V!

    Sorenson on
  • Kane Red RobeKane Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Excellent conflict already. That bodes well.

    Kane Red Robe on
  • IgelIgel Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I am anxiously awaiting further installments. Prognosis: Fantastic.

    Igel on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Well, god damn. You know how I mentioned I'm running a modified game? Welp, the mods I'm running had a bit of an unexpected effect, mainly the reproduction penalty which I've got the big -25 fucker of. Turns out that while most everything else works as either a percent of the whole, this is a flat reduction - so since your average race usually has 10% reproduction per year, that means we're at -15% (luckily the game stops it at zero so at least folks aren't dying off) instead of knocking off 2.5 percent like you'd figure, and that pretty much screws the entire game up for folks with it. And since other empires've had the chance to expand while those with the penalty have been dead in the water, even if I fixed it that makes what's been done thus far worthless and rather "unfair".

    So we're going to do this shit a little differently than I'd planned. All the hundreds of millions of points of research that go into stuff? Already filled. We're kicking this into All Tech mode, which means that (A) I can show off all the cool shit that makes SEV interesting without wasting dozens and hundreds of turns researching it, and (B) we get to have some max-level high-octane combat with all the bells and whistles and anti-proton beams you can shake a puny Meson Blaster at.

    For I have tasted the fruit
    (I apologuise in advance for the images, I'm basically MS-painting this shit as it goes along and when you get caught up in stuff you tend to miss little things like pasting alignment and whatnot)
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    03-01.jpg
    (Surprisingly, we wound up back in Gretok where we kicked things off last time., so we still get our cool Oxygen planets. Not that that's so important at this phase of the game, since all the facilities we've got makes it a snap to terraform planets to your own conditions.)
    03-02.jpg
    (Over the next several turns, I got some colony ships together and spread myself around the system a bit, giving everything a Temporal space yard in addition to whatever else they'd normally get, as well as a few basic combat ships to guard the borders. And that little bugger down there that's highlighted? That's a Creator-class (creative, I know) planet creator-destroyer, and our first bit of high-tech stellar manipulation gear.)
    03-04.jpg
    (Stellar manipulation is stupidly expensive, but insanely useful and powerful when you can finally muster ships that use it. Our Creator here can go to any asteroid field and use his Matter Gravity Sphere to suck up everything in the sector and turn it into a equal-sized planet, and even has a neat little animation for it.)
    03-05.jpg
    (He's ALSO Equipped with a Tectonic Bomb, which lets you blow planets to smithereens providing there ain't a anti-destruction facility on the planet or in the system. It literily looks like every view of world nuclear war from space, little explosions popping up all over the surface before it splits up. A neat little exploit is that because atmospheres are randomly generated when a planet's made if you've got a ship equipped with both creation and destruction stuff you can create, check, destroy if it isn't breathable, and repeat on the next turn.)
    03-06.jpg
    (Next up, terraforming. Planet Utilization gives you several facilities to increase planet usefulness - in this case I had some domed colonies I set up with Atmosphere Modification Plants, and at this level they did the job in five turns after completion: when you normally get them it starts from 100 turns and goes down by five a facility level, so we can move this show right along. I'm also using Value Improvement Plants to beef up my resource production.)
    03-07.jpg
    (I've also got some other goodies in the construction queue. While I wait for them to finish, I send out one of my combat ships to poke around in some sectors (specifically where the Jraenar were last time to see who's shacked up there now).)
    03-08.jpg
    03-08A.jpg
    (The Jraenar aren't home, but somebody else is, and we meet our first fellow empire of this round (and a user-made one to boot!) Meet the Absent Collective, Energy Beings who remind me of Adam Warlock for whatever reason. Not pictured because of the god damn tooltips is their green energy-ish shipset and another alien race we're running into in a moment since this was taken post-facto.)
    03-09.jpg
    (Heading back to Gretok, our cruiser runs into another alien vessel. Say hello to the Mets - well, the Disenfranchised Mettool Henchman Republic, really. Methinks we are gonna' be damn good friends in the future.
    03-09A.jpg
    03-10.jpg
    (A few turns after we meet them, the Mets send us a treaty request. Treaties in SEV are fucking deep: you can have any one or a combination of a dozen different conditions, each one of which has sub-conditions. You can share your techs or force one side to fork theirs over to the other, agree to non-aggression in neutral sectors or wherever you meet, set trade and tarrif rates, and a whole lot more.)
    03-11.jpg
    (Unfortunetily, the AI can be rather perculier about what conditions it'll accept, so it only really shines when you've got full human players at the helm. And speaking of diplomacy, one thing that sort of irks me about SEV is that while each race has its own dialogue file (as well as a default one used for random neutrals and our hackjob custom races) each one is more or less the same with no real distinction. Ah well.)
    03-12.jpg
    03-13.jpg
    (A dozen-ish turns later, and those little surprises I mentioned earli)er are all but ready. More Stellar stuff, and this time it's a doozy: stellar constructs. If you equip ships with Gravity Plating and Hyper-Density Cables along with a core component, you can use a star in a single-star system to make ringworlds and sphereworlds. The components are huge, however - in vanilla you could only build Starbases with them, which means using slow-as-fuck Ship Space Yards to do the work, but I've tweaked ship sizes a bit so that Dreadnoughts can carry them, designated the Pangloss-P, C, R and S. But first...)
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    03-14.jpg
    Emergency! Megaton-scale matter emission detected in Gretok's north warp point! Something's coming through!
    03-15.jpg
    (And speaking of Dreadnoughts, we've got one coming through our garrisoned warp point. Our defenses consist of two Brigadier-class Cruisers (1100 KT, IIRC) and an Itano-class Carrier (2100) with a full load of fighters. We might outweigh the Dread two to one, but whomever designed this ship designed it but good.
    03-16.jpg
    (Oh boy. Not only are we dealing with a race with Temporal technology, which has one of the best beam weapons of the game, but they've mounted these suckers on Massive Mounts - that's +600% damage or so. And it's got four of them, each capable of hitting stuff out to 120 lightseconds (more like Kilometers, but whatever). Still, we've got an ace up our sleeve as well.)
    03-17.jpg
    (The Brigs might be our standard combat craft, but the Itano and its fighters are our real advantage. Each carrier's loaded with some 25 or so fighter bays, each one of which is capable of carrying eight or so Harrier heavy fighters. Fighters are pitiful by themselves, but once they get in sufficient numbers they can wreck shit up like you won't believe - each Harrier's got a +125% or so defense bonus from a combo of small size, ECM and other stuff, and each one is packing 4 Time Distortion Beams - 60 damage in space, 240 on planets, quad damage to shields and a 3-second firing rate. Boosted by the Harrier's +115% attack bonus from small size and combat sensors, and we are talking some major fucking damage once all of the Itano's 113 fighters get launched.)
    03-18.jpg
    03-19.jpg
    03-20.jpg
    03-21.jpg
    (In total 3 Dreads pass through and are obliterated, with a loss of only 6 Harriers. The main ships weren't even scratched.)
    03-22.jpg
    (Turns out we were attacked by the Xiati Empire, another race of rock-dwelling oxygen-breathers. Kinda' ratty if you ask me, but it takes all kinds I guess.)
    03-23.jpg
    (Anyway, back to our Pangloss fleet. It turns out one of our neighboring systems is nothing more than rubble, which makes it PERFECT for some Stellar Construct'ing. Disbanding the fleet and selecting Pangloss-S, I activate the main component...)
    03-24.jpg
    (And BAM! Motherfucking Dyson Sphere, capable of holding 200 facilities and more god damn people and cargo than there probably is in the quadrant at this point. If ever someone makes or swipes one of these, they're practically a one-planet empire, and even HALF-full of well-designed platforms and troops is completily unassailable. And it's all ours.[/] Though if we wind up being good buddies with the Mets and Absent like it's looking I might give them some Ringworlds or Sphereworlds of their own.)
    In the next installment we'll hopefully have proper screenshots, more shooting, and more Stellar Manipulation abuse, so stick around.

    Sorenson on
  • IgelIgel Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Oooh, some interesting developments. For the record, I had no idea what your race was going to be when I submitted mine (but it worked out so well).

    The Mettool parliament can be a difficult group. I hear that intelligence photos of the session where the Reploid treaty was being debated may become available.

    Igel on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Not to be an ass but aren't all Lets Plays NSF56k by nature? :P

    Henroid on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Igel wrote: »
    Oooh, some interesting developments. For the record, I had no idea what your race was going to be when I submitted mine (but it worked out so well).

    The Mettool parliament can be a difficult group. I hear that intelligence photos of the session where the Reploid treaty was being debated may become available.
    Yeah, it was a bit of a kicker when I got that. And if you like where this is headed, things really picked up while I was playing earlier after submitting the last update. Spoilers in the, well, spoiler:
    The Mets are doing really dang good, and one of the other submitted races turned out to be a bunch of assholes who brought themselves a whoopin'.
    Henroid wrote: »
    Not to be an ass but aren't all Lets Plays NSF56k by nature? :P
    It's like medicine that tells you not to take it when pregnant, nursing, or when one may become pregnant: it's common sense, but everybody's got to give that warning.

    Sorenson on
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    I don't know if it's been mentioned, but you can save your empires I believe. But you do it in the empires page instead of the game setup page.

    Also way to go, now I am reinstalling this again. =(

    Morkath on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Let justice be done, though the world perish
    With the creation of the Jokala Sphereworld, we gain an enormous asset, and our efforts now turn to Jokala's colonization and the preperation of surrounding systems. But yet as we rejoice, we rage: for what we escaped two centuries before has come yet again.
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    03-01.jpg
    They came from the northern Gretok warp point. We thought ourselves secure; the Xiati defeated in their incursion months before, we let ourselves grow complacent.
    03-02.jpg
    Our complacence cost us dearly; the Itano and its Brigadier escorts were lost with all hands as they flooded through the warp point, one after another.
    03-03.jpg
    But this was no mere exploration fleet like what had likely been the Xiati incursion. These new invaders were swift and precise with their attacks, zeroing in on our construction center on Gretok VII.
    03-04.jpg
    First a probe team, which our fighters easily dispatched...
    03-07.jpg
    03-08.jpg
    ...and then the brunt of their forces. Gretok VII was saved, but at a cost of more than a quarter of its defense fighters.
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    03-05.jpg
    Through communication and conflicts of the last several years, we have met a number of starfaring races: the enigmatic Abbidon, the reclusive Xiati, the bizarre Octopodiformes of the Squidopolis Hegemony - but while all other conflicts with our fellows have been incidents of discovery, the Arvaani "protectorate" are the first to make themselves a deliberate threat.
    (You're wondering about that "United Worlds" thing at the bottom, ain't 'ya? One real neat thing in Space Empires games is that you have the ability to form alliances between players, and based on the terms of the alliance you can help one another out and share research amongst yourselves. Right now it's us and the Mets that're buddying up.)
    03-10.jpg
    As the Arvaani felt the need to incurse upon our borders, so we shall to theirs. As our worlds prepare great ships of war, our agents infiltrate their own. Though much of the damage is negligable, we have our successes - one of the Arvaani dreadnoughts is driven to join our side, and we get our first look at the enemy's systems.
    (Remember how I said intel in this game was extremily deep? I wasn't kidding: if you've got a high enough intelligence capability, you can REALLY start doing some damage - plague infliction, condition damage, mass poisonings, cargo and ship damages, and planetary and ship rebellions.)
    03-11.jpg
    Convinced of his race's harmful nature, our persueded dreadnought decides the only thing suitable is extermination. Brazenly he charges one of the Arvaani planets, plowing through platform fire in a crazed bid to ram the planet...
    03-12.jpg
    ...but falls a second short (and clips harmlessly through the planet during his pre-explosion drift).
    03-13.jpg
    As our agents continue their efforts on the Arvaani, other matters of import arrise. The Fwandrei system south of Jokala is a perfect location for our next sphereworld - or rather, would be if it only had one sun and if the Squidopolis would remove their colonies. Enter the Phaeton star destroyer.
    03-14.jpg
    The Phaeton is a modified Brigadier equipped with a Stellar Nucleonic Torpedo. Park it within short range of a system's star, launch the torpedo into its core, and watch as its fusion processes begin to de-stabalize...
    03-15.jpg
    ...before it exploides with enough power to rip through subspace, reducing everything within the system to rubble that isn't a warp point.
    (And I'm sure you're already thinking of how this can be so horrifically abused. There's a reason why I used a modified Brig for the Phaeton: Cruisers are the biggest ship class to still get the max base movement speed of 12, and while it lacks the firepower of the Brig it still has the shield and enough to defend itself with. Why send a fleet that costs 3 million in resources to wage war against an enemy when a ship that costs around 100K can slip thrugh their defenses at half again a dreadnought's speed and both destroy their assets AND deny them the ability to rebuild in one fell swoop? That's a little bit too cheesy, though: I'm mainly going to use these to prepare systems where I want to prepare sphereworlds in, and to hit against empires that've annoyed me sufficiently.
    03-16.jpg
    Those strange little Squids were, understandably, miffed. Luckily, The first fleets of our Maverick-class dreadnoughts had rolled off the line and was stationed in Jokala, and interdicted the Squid's response fleet.
    03-17.jpg
    With their superior numbers and firepower, however, the Mavericks won without so much as a scratch.
    03-20.jpg
    Fwandari having been prepared, we begin the next step of our expansion. As Phaeton did sear the Fwandari system with flame, Helios, our newest vessel, shall draw the sun's light once more across the system.
    (There's actually a delay when you do stellar manipulation as it plays out its animation - I had switched to Jokala when I snapped this image, but the display didn't shift until things were finished.)
    03-21A.jpg
    And at last, our vengeance begins: the 1st Deep Space Fleet breaks through Anvaari defenses and sets up a course of destruction, sweeping through the Vartoxia system and sterilizing their worlds.
    Next full update: I finish a few dozen turns of expansion, solidify my base, and crank up the war effort.

    Sorenson on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Two updates for the price of one! You lucky devils, you.

    Taking a bit of a break from the game, I realize that I've spouted lots of names and ship designs and the like, but someone who hasn't ever played the game should really have no idea what the hell any of that means. So this time around you folks're getting a combo deal: a tutorial on ship and unit design for the newcomers, and a catalogue of all the stuff I'm using.

    THE TUTORIAL:
    Vehicles in Space Empires V come in eight flavors, each with their own properties, advantages and drawbacks.

    BASES: Large immobile structures capable of housing a tremendous amount of stuff.
    DRONES: Miniature remote-controlled ships. They're small and fast and thus get bonuses to defense and speed, and have some exclusive equipment like warheads for kamikazi attacks.
    FIGHTERS: Teeny tiny little ships equipped with teeny tiny little versions of standard ship equipment. They're VERY fast (up to 21 movement and 26 in combat with Afterburners) and have good defense bonuses (80 to 60% in the mod I'm running) but can't pass through warp points and have to get in close to attack stuff. Can also be used in both space and ground combat.
    MINES: Immobile bombs that detonate when enemy ships enter their sector. They're great as a cheap defense means, but lost a bit of oomph compared to Space Empires IV since ships with Mine Sweepers can clear up to 50 or so of them out and they're limited to bunches of 100.
    SATELLITES: Immobile light platforms. They can be equipped with weapons for a cheap defense measure, but really shine if you stick advanced sensors on them and plop them in a storm in an enemy's system, as the AI won't see it but you can see them.
    SHIPS: The bread and butter of your forces. Ships encompass everything from dinky little frigates to the mainline cruisers all the way up to the mighty dreadnoughts and the inefficient-but-awesome baseships.
    TROOPS: Like fighters, troops are teeny tiny little units using teeny tiny little versions of regular ship stuff. Troops are used for ground combat and have to be carried aboard a transport, which'll push through enemy defenses to deposit its payload. Troops are also useful for pacifying occupied worlds, I do believe.
    WEAPON PLATFORMS: Planet-bound defense systems, Weapon Platforms are the bane of every invasion fleet. They can equip a lot of ship gear like weapons and sensors and whatnot, but their true strength lies in their Mounts: Weapon Platforms can equip larger versions of ship weapons, but they get a special mount type that not only increases firepower but also the weapon's effective range and accuracy. A planet laden with well-designed platforms can take out enemy fleets before they can even get in range to fire.
    03A-01.jpg
    Each vehicle type has between two and a dozen or so different sizes for it depending on its type, and each size has its own characteristics. In the case of ships, you start off with frigates and colony ships and small freighters, and as you research ship hulls you get new sizes and the size of existing hulls increases, in the order of Frigate>Destroyer>Light Cruiser>Cruiser>Battleship>Dreadnought>Baseship, with additional utility ships unlocked along the way. Each size has its own characteristics: asides from increased tonnate, larger ships are easier to hit than smaller ships, and starting with Battleships are slower than their previous sizes. On the other hand, big ships sometimes have lower maintainance costs, and certain stuff can only be mounted on certain ship sizes.
    03A-04.jpg
    When you finally select a ship size, you're finally taken to the real heart of the ship designer. Ships are divided into sections, and each section into three types: Armor, Outer Hull, and Inner Hull. Armor can only be fitted with armor, which protects stuff in the Inner and Outer Hull sections; once that gets past, ships that get damaged will have their Outer Hull components damaged; and when finally all the outer stuff is done damage will go to the Inner Hull, by which point the ship is probably a dead vessel flying anyway. You also have a limited number of slots for stuff (though this only becomes an issue with HUGE hulls and when the AI decides to cram them full of useless shit) spread across three decks and once you fill everything up that's it.

    Up in the upper right you'll see the warnings panal. All ships have requirements you have to fulfill before it can be finalized and produced. For most of them this is just a design name, a number of engines between 1 and X, a bridge and crew and life support, and so on, though certain specialty hulls like freighters and carriers and colony ships need to have a certain amount of certain component types aboard.
    03A-05.jpg
    And speaking of components, there are a shitton of them. You've got essential things like vehicle control and sensors, common sense stuff like shields and armor and weapons, and then a whole bunch of other different catagories like unit launching stuff, construction and repair stuff, cargo and supply stuff, remote mining stuff and colonizing, and there can be several or several dozen items within each catagory (weapons, particularly).
    03A-06.jpg
    Since we're on weapons, here's one neat thing about them (or rather components in general: mounts. Any vessel that meets the tonnage requirement can mount its weapon in a Large, Heavy or Massive mount to increase its firepower, so that dinky little Meson Blaster becomes Death Incarnate to anything that wanders into range. Mounting stuff is a mixed bag, though: while you gain more power you have less weapons overall, and depending on how far your weapon can shoot and your own attack bonuses you might wind up missing several times before striking a hit. This is PARTICULARLY relevent to Wave-Motion Guns:
    03A-07.jpg
    Looks awesome, don't it? But while the damage potential is awesome, it's actually impractical for several reasons: the low firing rate means you have to wait six seconds to try again if you miss, and its incredible range also gives ou an incredible attack penalty: at max tech with the right components you can get a +102% attack bonus on a ship, but after range penalties you're looking at a 22% accuracy rate at max range. And since it's so frickin' huge, you can't put as many on a ship and hope for hits by virtue of beam spam. Weapon Platform mounts DO get attack bonuses, though, which makes them AWESOME for massive mounted heavy weapons like the WMG.

    And finally, you see those Strategy and Design Type tags up in the upper-left? Each ship's got to be assigned a type, which dictates how it's controlled by the AI, and a Strategy, which determines how it behaves in battle. If you're letting ships operate on their own, you can have them do anything from waiting until they hit optimum combat range before firing, firing at max range, fleeing from the enemy, or getting right up in their face or ramming them.

    THE CATALOGUE:
    DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: The Reploid Commonwealth believes in the old adage of "the best offense is a good defense" and as such its ships are among the most sound and least penitrable of the known galaxy. Through a combination of numerous shield generators and shield re generators, we are able to provide sufficient absorbtion against non-penetrating damage, and our armor ensures that even in the event of shield breach that our ships can continue the fight without immediete disablement. Our offense may be lacking compared to other vessels, but in a one-on-one fight we've the ability to whittle down most opponents while repairing whatever is inflicted, and with sufficient numbers and positioning can bring down even the heaviest of vessels.

    COMMON EQUIPMENT: While there is a staggering myriad of equipment and weapon types available, the Reploid Commonwealth finds the following to be most suitable to our needs:

    MASTER COMPUTERS: Replaces bridges, crews and life support and gives +39% bonuses to both offense and defense at the risk of vulnerability to computer weapons (which must penetrate shields in the first place and is non-standard equipment on most vessels, anyway)
    STEALTh ARMOR: Stealth Armor, while less sound and much heavier than standard armor plating, provides a 54% defense bonus. A single thin layer beneath standard armor plating provides the bonus without defect and ensures that we maintain our bonus until our armor has been breached completily.
    PHASED SHIELD GENERATOR: Produces 2520 points of phased shielding per generator. Though less powerful than standard generators (due to the level limit the game imposes on it, at level 100 it'd beat the regular one) the PSG protects our vessels against Phased Poleron Beam emitters, capable of cutting through regular shields like they were air.
    SHIELD REGENERATOR: Recovers 80 universal shield points per second. When placed in sufficient quantities, shield regenerators allow a ship to recover from damage in battle, and in some cases negate it completily depending on enemy vessel configuration. Combined with high-range and point-defense weapons our ships can be effectively invincible, or at least far more durable than enemy vessels.
    TEMPORAL TACHYON CANNON: ~1600 damage, 120 light-second range, 4 second firing rate, 40 kt mass. The TTC is one of the most powerful weapons in the known galaxy. Though it lacks the range of the wave-motion gun, its faster firing rate and comparable damage combined with its smaller mass makes it an extremily deadly weapon when fitted in quantity.
    WAVE-MOTION GUN: ~1850 damage, 180 light-second range, 6 second firing rate, 70 kt. Horrifically powerful, but also horrifically fickle, the WMG is hands-down the most dangerous weapon we know of. Its range is comparable to that of missiles and gives any vessel equipped with it first-strike capability by nature of its instant-impact beam design, but it is also by its very nature an extremily inaccurate weapon relying upon numbers and warp point exploitation to deliver consistant damage.
    QUANTUM TORPEDO: 762 damage, 180 light-second range, 4 second firing rate, 40 kt mass. While the Reploid Commonwealth prefers the use of energy by weapons by virtue of their ordinance-free and light-weight nature, there are certain models which benifit greatly from the use of guided weapons. Though vulnerable to point-defense fire, in sufficient quantities quantum torpedoes can tear any ship asunder, and are guarenteed to damage should they penetrate perimeter defenses.
    POINT-DEFENSE BLASTER: 600 damage, 70 light-second range, 1 second firing rate, 20 kt mass, can only target units. Though lacking the range and seeker nature of bomblet launchers, PDB turrets offer the most balanced and adequate of point-defense capability for the vessels of the Commonwealth. Their high rate of fire allows them to put up a wall of fire against enemy units, and combined with built-in firing precision and additional data from combat sensors are able to intercept any suitable target that enters range. As many enemy vessels employ a combination of direct-fire and seeker weapons, considerable point-defense capability is a valuable asset.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_Cruiser.jpg
    CRUISERS: Cruisers are our core ships-of-the-line as well as the basis for many Commonwealth utility vessels. Capable of moving up to 16 sectors per turn, they make excellent interception ships and have enough tonnage to allow for diverse and effective payloads, though rely on numbers and bottlenecking tactics when dealing with larger vessels.

    BRIGADIER ATTACK SHIP
    6 Temporal Tachyon Cannons
    8 Point-Defense Blasters
    6 Phased Shield Generators w/Shield Regenerators
    18 mT armor damage capacity

    The Brig is the Commonwealth's primary cruiser-class vessel and the core of its defense forces. Combining high damage capability and capacity, it is a stalwart vessel capable of going toe-to-toe with vessels of equal tonnate and emerging unscratched.

    QUARTERMASTER ATTACK SHIP (there's no option for supply ship, strangely)
    2 TTCs
    8 PDBs
    6 PSG/SR combos
    18 mT armor

    10 Quantum Reactors

    The Quartermaster is a back-seat supply vessel for the Brigadier and for long-range deep space task forces. Though not as powerful as the Brigadier its two TTC mounts allow it to defend itself adequately.

    TYCOON-U COLONY SHIP:
    1 each of Rock, Ice and Gas colony modules
    5 Cargo Holds

    Technically a Light Cruiser due to a design oversight, the Tycoon-Universal is the Commonwealth's colonization vessel, capable of ferrying 500 million colonists to their new homes. Unarmed, they only traverse sectors that are secured by other forces or when accompanies by escorts.

    SCHWARZSCHILD SINGULARITY GENERATOR (Create Black Hole)
    2 TTCs
    4 PDBs
    4 PSG/SR combos
    1 Inverted Quantum Beam

    A horriffic design of last resort, the Schwarzschild is capable of reducing the Electron/Neutron Degeneracy Pressure within the core of a star to absolute zero, causing particles to inhabit the same space and generate an infinately-massive point in space - a black hole. All objects within the solar system - planets, storms and nebulas, even other stars and the Schwarzschild itself - are drawn into its maw, sterilizing a system completily save for warp points.

    CREATOR PLANET MANIPULATION VESSEL (Create Planet)
    2 TTCs
    4 PDBs
    5 PSG/SR combos
    1 Tectonic Bomb
    1 Matter Gravity Sphere
    1 Repair Bay

    The Creator allows us to utilize asteroid belts by condensing the surrounding material into a planet, and similarly destroy planets and reduce them to asteroid fields themselves.

    HELIOS STAR CREATOR (Create Star)
    2 TTCs
    6 PDBs
    4 PSG/SR combos
    1 Stellar Plasma Sphere
    1 Repair Bay

    In systems where stars have detonated for reasons natural and otherwise, the Helios allows us to create new stars for the purpose of generating sphereworlds and other star-dependent constructs.

    PHAETON STAR DESTROYER (Destroy Star)
    2 TTCs
    6 PDBs
    5 PSG/SR combos
    1 Stellar Nucleonic Torpedo

    The Phaeton cruiser is an incredibly powerful and deadly vessel by virtue of its primary function. When fired at a system's star, its Stellar Nucleonic Torpedo causes the target star's fusion processes to destabalize. The resulting energy release penetrates across both normal and sub space, reducing everything in the system to smoldering hulks and rubble. The Phaeton has been designed such as to be capable of cross-quadrant travel, and if need be to penetrate enemy defenses and detonate their stars.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_Dreadnought.jpg
    DREADNOUGHTS: While Cruisers are the core of the Commonwealth's forces, Dreadnoughts are its true power. Though slower than Cruisers (12 to 16) the Dreadnought outweighs the cruiser almost 2.5 to one, giving us luxusious amounts of room for equipment.

    MAVERICK ATTACK SHIP
    8 Wave-Motion Guns
    8 PDBs
    18 PSG/SR combos
    6 Quantum Reactors
    36 mT armor
    1 Repair Bay

    The Maverick is the pinnacle of the Commonwealth's naval forces. Capable of long-range bombardment with its main battery and boasting an extrordinary amount of shielding and armor, the Maverick is all but unstoppable unless severely outnumbered. Its compliment of 6 quantum reactors give it effectively unlimited range, and the repair bay allows it to recover from any damage suffered during battle short of complete obliteration.

    HAMMERSPACE CARGO TRANSPORT
    Innumerable cargo bays

    The Hammerspace's role in the Commonwealth is nothing more than hyper-massive cargo transportation. Operating in fleets it is tasked with moving manufactured products such as weapon platforms and fighters to newly-colonized sphereworlds, and its ultra-effective space compression technology enables the Hammerspace to carry almost 20 times its own mass and volume in cargo, up to and including entire huge-sized planet populations.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_Carrier.jpg
    CARRIERS: Carriers, as their name implies, are designed for transporting and launching fighters into combat. Half their total tonnage must be fighter bays (or launcher bays of any sort, methinks) but since they have a LOT of tonnate that means they have a LOT of fighter bays, and as such one or two in a fleet can cause catastrophic damage when fully-loaded.

    ITANO CARRIER
    1 TTC
    4 PDBs
    35 Fighter Bays (8750 kT of fighter tonnage, or 116 Large Fighters)
    12 PST/SR combos

    The Itano is designed as a rear-echelon fighter catapault, launching hordes of fighters at the beginning of combat and utilizing them to cause massive amounts of damage. Its armorment is minimal, however, and it relies on Criser escorts and its own fighter compliment to fight off enemy attackers.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_Fighter.jpg
    FIGHTERS:

    HARRIER FIGHTER (X1)
    8 Time Distortion Bursts (13 on the X1)
    1776 kT armor

    The Harrier is our primary (and only) fighter class, and is an extremily capable vessel. Unfortunetily, its small size means we are forced to shift our design philosophy from defense to attack as fighter-scale shields are completily insufficient to stop most weapons, and it must rely on its maneuverability and ECM package to survive. Equipped with Time Distortion Bursts, its damage is overwhelming versus other ground units and fighters, and when in massive numbers even Dreadnought fleets are unable to withstand their combined assault.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_Drone.jpg
    DRONES:

    GOON-CLASS ANTI-SHIP DRONE (I couldn't resist)
    1 Quantum Torpedo launcher
    3 PDBs

    The Goon drone is an interesting divergence from standard design principles, as like with the Harrier its small size leaves our designers extremily limited. The Goon is designed to operate in full swarms of 100 units when deployed, rushing the enemy and using their long-range weapons, extreme maneuverability and sheer force of numbers to win engagements. They are also designed as suicide units: once they're launched, they attack the enemy to the last unit.
    Sergetti_LargePortrait_WeaponPlatfo.jpg
    WEAPON PLATFORMS:

    LONGINUS WEAPON PLATFORM
    3 TTCs (Massive mounts, ~9000 damage, 180 light-second range)
    4 PDBs
    9 PSGs
    36 mT armor

    The Longinus defense platform is our primary planetary defense system. In sufficient numbers the Longinus' main batteries are able to attack enemy vessels at ranges comperable to wave-motion guns with a ~40% accuracy rate while protecting their host planet from seekers and fighters with their point-defense blasters. Alone they are not of much use, but in sufficient quantities such as on Huge and Sphereworlds their massed fire can defeat all but the most sturdy and massive of enemy fleets.
    And on that note, I think I'm going to take a short break for a day or two, seeing's I've done like 4 updates in two and a half days.

    Sorenson on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    As some added reading for a bit of explanations about things:

    My brief tutorial on resources in the game.
    My not-so-brief ship-building post
    My also less-than-brief tech tutorial


    Also jesus what horrible people mods are you using that all your shit is level a billion already? Or did you just post like one screenshot per 24-hour period of playing?

    Khavall on
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    How do you get ships into a dyson sphere's/orbit?

    They get built, and can leave just fine, but I can't send them back in for repairs.

    Morkath on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Khavall wrote: »
    As some added reading for a bit of explanations about things:

    My brief tutorial on resources in the game.
    My not-so-brief ship-building post
    My also less-than-brief tech tutorial

    Also jesus what horrible people mods are you using that all your shit is level a billion already? Or did you just post like one screenshot per 24-hour period of playing?
    Check out section what the fuck for that, but basically it amounts to "I botched up one of my mods which screwed up the ~7 hours of play I'd already done by the time I figured it out, so we're restartin' this shit with max tech to get to the fun stuff".
    Morkath wrote: »
    How do you get ships into a dyson sphere's/orbit?

    They get built, and can leave just fine, but I can't send them back in for repairs.
    I don't have SEV running since it's like 2 AM right now but I think that you can pop them into one of the half-occupied sectors at the sphereworld's perimeter and it counts as being in orbit, it at least counted for some retarded colony ship that was was trying to colonize one of my sphereworlds ten times every turn. If all else fails you can try putting them in the sector that has the planet flag and see if that works.

    Sorenson on
  • Kane Red RobeKane Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Haha whoops. Oh those crazy Arvaani. Oh well, at least they are doomed as they are suffering from the same crap growth penalty as you.

    Kane Red Robe on
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    Sorenson wrote: »
    Khavall wrote: »
    As some added reading for a bit of explanations about things:

    My brief tutorial on resources in the game.
    My not-so-brief ship-building post
    My also less-than-brief tech tutorial

    Also jesus what horrible people mods are you using that all your shit is level a billion already? Or did you just post like one screenshot per 24-hour period of playing?
    Check out section what the fuck for that, but basically it amounts to "I botched up one of my mods which screwed up the ~7 hours of play I'd already done by the time I figured it out, so we're restartin' this shit with max tech to get to the fun stuff".
    Morkath wrote: »
    How do you get ships into a dyson sphere's/orbit?

    They get built, and can leave just fine, but I can't send them back in for repairs.
    I don't have SEV running since it's like 2 AM right now but I think that you can pop them into one of the half-occupied sectors at the sphereworld's perimeter and it counts as being in orbit, it at least counted for some retarded colony ship that was was trying to colonize one of my sphereworlds ten times every turn. If all else fails you can try putting them in the sector that has the planet flag and see if that works.

    Ill give that a shot and see if it works thanks.

    Unfortunetly the planet flag is off in the darkness of space, not on the planet.

    e: Ok yeah in the surrounded hexes seems to do it. Does that also count for planet defense?

    Morkath on
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    One thing I have never understood, aside from the obvious gameplay reasons.

    Is why a race that has no atmosphere for their homeplanet, has trouble colonizing a planet with a different atmosphere. If you have no atmosphere you don't breathe, thus I would think oxygen wouldn't bother you. Although I guess it means those are acidic to your skin or something?

    Morkath on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    That and almost everything about your existance is related to the conditions that your species lived in as it developed biologically, socially and technologically. I mean, to use the Commonwealth as an example Reploids should technically have no problem operating in various environments and we've got plenty of canon evidence from both the original and X Mega Man games that robots can do such, but their vocalization systems would be affected from different atmospheric compositions and conditions (or the lack of an atmosphere comopetily) the different atmospheres means they would have to make extrordinary changes to some of their industrial practices (for example, chemical processes used in the creation of certain alloys or other materials could be affected and corrupted by the presence of high amounts of particular gasses in a non-Earthlike atmosphere) and the very nature of the technology they use (imagine trying to use an arc welder or something somilar in a Methane atmosphere. Now try to imagine a technological and industry base with no substantial heat generation whatsoever.). About the only way anybody could completily operate in any atmosphere or without one is if every single piece of their tech was backed by some kind of molecular alteration and arrangement system and if they themselves were made completily of inorganic and mostly-inert substances.

    A trait that gives the player all atmosphere types at the same time might work, I'll have to nose around in the files and see what I can dig up to do a test, if you can even assign atmosphere types to a trait at all.

    Sorenson on
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Man I tried to get into this game but didn't make it past a few turns. This thread makes me want to try again.

    Smurph on
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love
    Maestro! Some music, if you will!
    Much has come and gone in the last several years. For the Commonwealth has come expansion and prosperity as sphereworld after sphereworld is constructed and inhabited. For others - in particular our current foes the Arvaani - prosperity has left them long ago and theirs is now a dying race, hastened with the razing of planets and the rise of plague.

    Yet as we hate them so, our kind cannot help but feel pity for them, and the looming shadow of their demise brings forth a great concern; though many of the species we know of are driven by peaceful urges, others are prompted by those more sinister, and the conflicts that arise shall eventually lead to their own destruction. And who are we to stand idly by as these beings, inferior as they are, are denied the right of existance that we ourselves were denied so long ago?

    Our path is now clear. Those who would destroy themselves must be saved from destroying themselves, and under our supervision shall be allowed to flourish.
    04-01.jpg
    For such, the Savior-class Dreadnought shall be more than suitable for the class. Though neither as deadly as the Maverick or as capacious as the Hammerspace, its duel-function capabilities are more than suitable for the task at hand. And aided by the Lorentzian-class warp ship, they'll be able to strike at any point in the quadrant not under protection from stellar manipulation.
    04-02.jpg
    Our first target: the Arvaani-held Dornot system. Jumping through the warp point generated by the Lorent (and quickly shut thereafter for security) our Saviors move into action.
    04-03.jpg
    The Arvaani defenses are minimal, and victory is ours within two months.
    (All righty, ground combat. When you've got a ship with cargo space and Fighters and/or Troops aboard, you can order them to land their forces on the planet in a bid to capture it: while one would think hovering in orbit with a fleet of death incarnate would be enough, the game only considers that a blockade, and it's only after cementing your presence on the ground that you completily take over a planet. Ground combat takes place at the end of the turn in which it was started, and plays out similarly to space combat save for that herein facilities and weapon platforms and whatnot're represented by individual units instead of a collective figure like in space combat.)
    04-04.jpg
    Strangely, one of the Arvaani worlds was completily uninhabited: a ghostly shell with the only life the automated defense systems from years past.
    04-05.jpg
    Even as we move to preserve life, however, elsewhere in the galaxy it winks out of existance; one of the minor empires is reported to be completily destroyed.
    (And it's our first casualty of the game, albeit a minor one. This bunch was actually a Neutral Empire which probably rebelled from its parent empire, and Neutral Empires are limited to the system in which they're created (and in most cases the colony that rebelled) so they tend to die off pretty quickly.)
    04-06.jpg
    When preparing the population of Dornot I for evacuation, our forces made a most surprising and shocking discovery: millions of our own bretheren. How they came to be in this system, let alone under Arvaani dominion, is unknown: had Arvaani agents infintrated our space and abducted them? Had they somehow discovered the means to replicate our design and produce our kind en masse for their own use? Whatever the case, the implication is most dire, and only supports our need to pacify the Arvaani before they can cause further damage and heartbreak.
    04-07.jpg
    But our focus on saving the rest of the galaxy has not stunted our own development: as we continue to expand, we find our efforts constrained by phenomenon such as singularities and nebulas. The Liberty-class cruiser is one of our newest tools for taming the galaxy, capable of diving into the heart of a black hole and utilizing quantum gravitons to make the singularity break down and explode from within, leaving the ship itself intact.
    04-08.jpg
    The Dorton campaign a success, the Salvation Fleet returns to the sphereworld of New Elysium with its liberated cargo. Here, the Arvaani species will be safe from complete destruction, and under our guidance may grow and flourish to its complete potential.
    04-09.jpg
    And with no better timing: though our agents in the Arvaani Protectorate do their best, the means which they utilize are sometimes questionable.
    (One of the gripes I have about SEV is that while its intelligence system is extremily deep, it's also something of a real crapshoot: you can only choose from a few broad areas to do things in (ships and fleets, planets and colonies, political, and empire-wide) but each area has several different types of intel activities within them and the game'll randomly pick which ones you put your intel to. So while you might want to use your intel to move colonies to rebellion and anarchy, for example, the game'll randomly pick from this and other things like decreasing planet values and conditions, inflicting plagues, poisoning food supplies, and damaging facilities and cargo.)
    04-11.jpg
    Though the Dorton campaign has been completed, there's no time to rest for the Saviors: our reports indicate that the Squidopolis Hegemony and Xiati Empire have seen fit to intrude upon our space, establishing colonies in the Ultrinox system. This cannot be allowed, and as they refuse to concede, we shall have to force them to.
    04-10.jpg
    With the Salvation Fleet in position, the Lorentzian powers up its Gravitional Quantum Resonators...
    04-12.jpg
    ...selects a destination system...
    04-14.jpg
    ...and in the blink of an eye, a new warp point gives our forces immediete access to Ultrinox, and the Saviors pass through and set to work.
    04-15.jpg
    With the last Savior through, the Lorentzian brings about its Gravitional Condensor...
    04-16.jpg
    ...and the Ultrinox warp point is severed.
    (Warp Point manipulation is some seriously exploitable technology in SEV - at max level any system in the entire quadrant can be accessed from any other point in the quadrant, no matter where the system is: if the enemy doesn't set up System Gravitional Shields, it's quite possible to beam a fleet right into the heart of their empire to cause havoc, though if they DO have a SGS the tech is useless until it's disabled.)
    04-17.jpg
    Elsewhere, the first few batches of the Goon-class drone have finally come off the construction line. While attempting to warp to Galgamis, our Lorentzian discovered the system impermiable to manipulation; scans indicate Galgamis VII as the source of the interference, and the first batch of Goons are dispatched.
    04-18.jpg
    04-19.jpg
    The Drones are a marvelous feat of miniaturization and space-compression: though they can mass as much as an early-model frigate, their volume is miniscule, almost fighter-scaled.
    04-20.jpg
    Unfortunetily, they are also unbelievably fickle. Possessing only the most barebones of an AI, the Goons seem to have trouble with any concept that goes beyond ramming targets and trigering their kamikazi warheads.
    (I'm gonna' be honest with you: I have never, ever been able to get Drones to work in a capacity beyond suicide bombing, and I hate suicide bombing. So enjoy the one and only time you'll ever see the damn things in this LP.)
    04-21.jpg
    In Ultrinox, however, things go far better: after two months the entire system has been pacified, its colonists liberated, and the colonies dismantled with minimal resistance.
    It's going to probably be a few more days before the next update, folks: I just got some replacement ram and the process of installing it may or may not mutilate my computer, so here's hoping for the best.

    EDIT: Welp, it didn't explode violently and System's registering four gigs of ram up from two, so it looks like I'm in the clear.
    WHEW.

    Sorenson on
  • Kris_xKKris_xK Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    God, I love Dyson Spheres.

    Kris_xK on
    calvinhobbessleddingsig2.gif
  • SorensonSorenson Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The purpose of all war is ultimately peace
    (Note: the format for this update is a bit different than the last ones, as the text will now precede images instead of coming after. You'll see why.)

    The first of our victories is at hand.

    Over the last several months, our Salvation fleets have liberated system after system of Squidopolis colonies, transferring the civilians into protective care and purging the systems to prevent redevelopment through inferior means. Now, only their home system and a minor colony is all that remains - but we are not without severe resistance.
    05-01.jpg
    The Squidopolis homeworlds are extrordinarily defended - even with our mighty Mavericks, the casualties will be extrordinary.
    05-02.jpg
    05-02B.jpg
    05-02C.jpg
    Luckily, we've got an ace up our sleeve - or rather, a thousand of them.
    05-03.jpg
    Operation Itano Circus is a go!
    First to fall was the perimeter defense fleet...
    05-04.jpg
    05-05.jpg
    ...then with the assisstance of rebellious Squidopolis fleets we pick apart the weaker links of their chain!
    05-06.jpg
    05-07.jpg
    05-08.jpg
    05-09.jpg
    05-10.jpg
    05-11.jpg
    05-12.jpg
    05-13.jpg
    (That last one's a bit of an oddity and sort of neat about the AI - if the computer has orders not to attack something present in combat, it'll either flee or run rings around the edge of the combat zone to keep away from it. That there curve that takes up about 25% of the combat zone outline? That's about 800 fighters doing an idiocy conga.

    One by one, each of the Squid's defense fleets are sundered by a hail of fighter fire...
    05-15.jpg
    05-16.jpg
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    ...and with the arrival of reenforcements from the third through fifth Salvation fleets, our forces push to the Octopodiforme homeworld itself!
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    After a long and grueling battle against the near-entirety of the Squids' remaining naval power, we penetrate their defenses and land troops...
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    ...but with the bulk of their power in their naval forces, the Octopodiforme homeworld is no match for our overwhelming ground assault forces!
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    Like a child that doesn't know better, the Squidopolis remnents continue to fight, but their counterattack is to no avail.
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    After months of fighting, the Octopodiformes have been pacified and victory is ours!
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    (Boy, I should'a shown this offer earlier, eh? Lesson time for you newcomers: in addition to general empire data and stuff gained from espionage, the game also keeps track of various empire stats through a score system (which's actually used by one of the stock victory conditions as well as certain empire behavior triggers). It's a handy little way to cheat a bit and get accurate empire data without wasting time on espionage.)
    05-33.jpg
    Free from remnent harrassment, our construction vehicles move in, and in a scant year or two an Octopodiforme habitat is complete.
    (Ringworlds are the little brothers of sphereworlds, offering half the facility/cargo/population space as a sphereworld at half the cost in components. If you need a construct RIGHT THE FRICK NOW it's OK, but it's honestly better to wait for the ten other components you'd need for a sphereworld to get the most punch from your planets.

    Operation Itano Circus a success, now we turn out eyes towards the next threat to itself...
    Things I have learned from this update:
    A) A carrier full of fighters is awesome. Ten carriers full of fighters less so.
    B) Ten carriers without repair bays full of fighters is about a thousand fighters, each bearing their own nicks and damage gained over the course of a campaign, each of which has to be processed at the end of combat and turns. So make sure you've got a repair bay so that the game can just go "OK, 1000 fighters with X stats" instead of "OK, X fighters in perfect condition, this one dinged up, this one dinged up a bit more, that one dinged up a bit less..."
    C) Bug discovery! Apparently if you order a carrier to capture a planet at the end of combat, provided it's launched all its fighters by the time it gets to the planet the planet is apparently fragged instantly.
    D) Just because the game supports up to a hundred systems a map with 32000 ships and units doesn't mean it can handle a hundred system with 32000 ships and units.

    The next installment might not come for a good while yet; a relative of mine is in the hospital and we're going to have to fly/drive up to New Hampshire to check on them.

    EDIT: In still pictures, anyway. There's just something to be said about watching a hundred of the buggers nipping at the heels of a dreadnought at a close enough range for the sound effects to kick in.

    Sorenson on
  • MorkathMorkath Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2009
    Fighter blobs are so boring! The AI just never handles them well.

    Good luck to your relative.

    Morkath on
  • rayofashrayofash Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I love these kinds of games but they're all so frikkin' complicated I can never figure out how to play them.

    rayofash on
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