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Suggestions for SOASE 2

By on July 31, 2014 4:42:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

axxo4

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SOASE 2 Suggestions:

i know that there have been several threads on the forums about suggestions but in this thread we are going to try to illustrate and write about a suggestion we make for soase 2, so that our suggested concept can get through and inspire StarClad

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August 1, 2014 5:15:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Double post due to ninja... 

It's got nothing to do with memory. Technically, 32 is faster than 64. It's an issue of clock speed and thread count.

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August 1, 2014 5:24:01 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

32 bit as it is runs out of RAM on Sins 1.

 

Whether 32 is faster or not - it depends. On CPU intensive apps, you can see ~30% improvement in some areas. Larger files too can be kept in the memory. The x64 architecture does have a few more registers, so you can optimize your code there as well.  The only performance drawback is that you have less in the fastest L1 CPU cache and 64 bit apps use somewhat more RAM.

 

With Sins 2 asking for everything everyone wants here, you're looking at 8gb, maybe more. Maybe they should adopt a turn based strategic, real time tactical, the way Total War did for a truly massive scale.

 

And yes, thread count does matter. It seems that Moore's Law is pretty much over these days. Anything that can be multithreaded probably should be in most cases. Games hardly ever use 4, let alone 6 or 8 cores.

 

The big benefit I see with making games today though is that the GPU has become much more powerful. That is probably going to be the most important thing of all.

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August 1, 2014 6:24:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If it does turn based strategic, real time tactical, I will never buy it.

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August 1, 2014 7:55:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

If it does turn based strategic, real time tactical, I will never buy it.

 

I am conflicted. I would love a turn bases strategic and real time tactical... but I don't think I want Sins 2 to be that...

Maybe for a spinoff?

 

Things I really want (which should be possible with nitrous) is object based weapons (so that you can have accuracy % and fast ships can dodge slow shots etc.)

missiles that can be intercepted by either certain weapons or counter measures

moving turrets with individual firing arcs

Autonomous 'long range' fighters as well as carrier bound short range fighters (maybe some sort of 'fuel' system like in homeworld 1?)

weapon trails that don't disappear when a weapon connects, but fade out nicely as well as a better particle system so we can get some nice missile trails

Missiles that aren't so picky that they need to hit the exact pixel on the target and if they miss go into crazy spins. Just let it contact with the ships hitbox!

 

 

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August 1, 2014 8:55:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Wintercross,


I am conflicted. I would love a turn bases strategic and real time tactical... but I don't think I want Sins 2 to be that...

Maybe for a spinoff?

 

Things I really want (which should be possible with nitrous) is object based weapons (so that you can have accuracy % and fast ships can dodge slow shots etc.)

missiles that can be intercepted by either certain weapons or counter measures

moving turrets with individual firing arcs

Autonomous 'long range' fighters as well as carrier bound short range fighters (maybe some sort of 'fuel' system like in homeworld 1?)

weapon trails that don't disappear when a weapon connects, but fade out nicely as well as a better particle system so we can get some nice missile trails

Missiles that aren't so picky that they need to hit the exact pixel on the target and if they miss go into crazy spins. Just let it contact with the ships hitbox!

 

 

Most of that was in SOTS 1.

- Missiles

- Turrets

- Battle riders and drones

- Torpedoes

- Point defense

 

SOTS 2 badly screwed up though and ended up as a failure. Not to mention, the complexity of the strategic layer made the game tedious. That was like one of the biggest disappointments in 4X history, alongside MOO3.

 

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

If it does turn based strategic, real time tactical, I will never buy it.

 

There are advantages though to doing it.

 

The possibility of shorter games where both sides are given a set amount of resources to "buy" a fleet rather than to build it up, the way Total War multiplayer is set up. That could vastly improve the multiplayer size of the player base.

 

Late game where you have a lot of things going on at once, turn based gives you time to think about it. You can already see Sins adopting a slower pace (shield mitigation) for example). Either that or you'd have to automate some things or constantly pause, or worse, miss out on some of the action.

 

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August 1, 2014 9:22:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

IMHO Sins 2 should stick to its current formula of RT4X, and should not be made into something else (more turn based, or even more RTS based for that matter). Its the perfect bits of both genres that makes this game so great, and that is also its greatest strength on the market if you ask me. Going too mainstream could seriously harm sales and cause the sequel to get lost in a maelstrom of other (sci-fi) RTS titles that are being released.

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August 1, 2014 10:33:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting UnleashedElf,


Quoting Wintercross,


I am conflicted. I would love a turn bases strategic and real time tactical... but I don't think I want Sins 2 to be that...

Maybe for a spinoff?

 

Things I really want (which should be possible with nitrous) is object based weapons (so that you can have accuracy % and fast ships can dodge slow shots etc.)

missiles that can be intercepted by either certain weapons or counter measures

moving turrets with individual firing arcs

Autonomous 'long range' fighters as well as carrier bound short range fighters (maybe some sort of 'fuel' system like in homeworld 1?)

weapon trails that don't disappear when a weapon connects, but fade out nicely as well as a better particle system so we can get some nice missile trails

Missiles that aren't so picky that they need to hit the exact pixel on the target and if they miss go into crazy spins. Just let it contact with the ships hitbox!

 



 

Most of that was in SOTS 1.

- Missiles

- Turrets

- Battle riders and drones

- Torpedoes

- Point defense

 

SOTS 2 badly screwed up though and ended up as a failure. Not to mention, the complexity of the strategic layer made the game tedious. That was like one of the biggest disappointments in 4X history, alongside MOO3.

 


Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

If it does turn based strategic, real time tactical, I will never buy it.



 

There are advantages though to doing it.

 

The possibility of shorter games where both sides are given a set amount of resources to "buy" a fleet rather than to build it up, the way Total War multiplayer is set up. That could vastly improve the multiplayer size of the player base.

 

Late game where you have a lot of things going on at once, turn based gives you time to think about it. You can already see Sins adopting a slower pace (shield mitigation) for example). Either that or you'd have to automate some things or constantly pause, or worse, miss out on some of the action.

 

again, you just need a better UI. The empire tree and auto fleeting are a start, but it needs to move to the next level. No need to change gameplay. 

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August 1, 2014 11:02:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Oh, also proper fleet formations and spacing options!!!

 

Loose fleet cohesion should make ships spread out, not just wait longer to reform. While tight cohesion should make them all group up close.

 

Some formations would be nice too. Things like Wall, Delta, battle line etc.
An Escort formation would be good too. Light ships on the edges, stronger ships surrounding the weaker support/utility ships.

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August 1, 2014 11:33:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Auto-pathing improvements are a component of what will need to happen to go along with the aforementioned UI enhancements.

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August 2, 2014 3:18:25 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Teun-A-Roonius,

IMHO Sins 2 should stick to its current formula of RT4X, and should not be made into something else (more turn based, or even more RTS based for that matter). Its the perfect bits of both genres that makes this game so great, and that is also its greatest strength on the market if you ask me. Going too mainstream could seriously harm sales and cause the sequel to get lost in a maelstrom of other (sci-fi) RTS titles that are being released.

yeah i have to agree with this! id rater haave 5000 ships at once but with more impressive graphics DM states,  then 10,000 with rotating turrets..

Can some one tell me what exactly nitrus can do for sins? besides rotating turrets? - i dont understand all the multi core stuff.. will nitrus help with the limit? will they be able to add more ships?

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August 2, 2014 3:20:52 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

Honestly, by this time, the Vasari loyalists will probably be gone. I feel like the advent rebels will have joined the Vasari rebels and might even be funded by the TEC loyalists to fight the shadow of the Vasari. The advent loyalists will probably have become some military and cultural juggernaut while the TEC rebel government will likely be on the verge of collapsing due to lack of funding forcing it to choose between poor economics and severe corruption.

 

so you think the loyal vas will be gone , so then there will be TAV? tec advent vas. all in 1 nation ? idk it might be op 

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August 2, 2014 4:47:52 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting axxo4,
Can some one tell me what exactly nitrus can do for sins? besides rotating turrets? - i dont understand all the multi core stuff.. will nitrus help with the limit? will they be able to add more ships?

There are two things holding back ship count in Sins I: endgame slowdown and the 2 gig limit.  Nitrous fixes both of these.

 

Endgame Slowdown

Think of it this way...  Your CPU in your computer probably has several threads that it can run simultaneously which means that it can do several things at once.  The naive way to program a game results in a single thread that is executed by the processor.  In such a case, the only thing that matters in terms of how much can be happening at any given point is the clock rate of your CPU.  My brand new (and I do mean brand new, I built it yesterday and and installed Windows today) CPU's clock rate is 4.0 GHz which means that it can do twice as much stuff in a program (like a game) in a given amount of time as my laptop which has a clock rate of 2.0 GHz.  Sins of a Solar Empire is a single-threaded program meaning that my new PC will be able to process twice as much stuff (give or take; yes, I'm simplifying it here) in a given time frame as my laptop without having slow down the game to keep up.  In other words, it takes twice as much stuff going on for it to hit endgame slowdown.

Multi-threading largely fixes this.  Due to technical limitations, clock speed can't go much higher so instead, engineers decided to add more "mini-processors" that will run in parallel.  Thus, my quad-core i7 can run 4 threads at once instead of just one (again, I'm simplifying because of hyperthreading)!  Unfortunately, these other three cores go unused unless the software tells them what to do.  Because Sins I was written in the naive way, those other three cores are just sitting there twiddling their thumbs while the one primary core is working its butt off trying to crank out thousands of ships and paths and is generally being tortured.

Nitrous, unlike the Iron Engine, is a multi-threaded engine so it can take advantage of the additional cores in a processor, thus allowing for dramatically increased calculations per second.  As such, the Nitrous Engine is capable of things like calculating the rotational headings not just of a thousand ships like in Sins I, but also the rotations for the 4-5 turrets on each one of those ships!

Summary: the Iron Engine can't process more than one thing at a time so most of your CPU's power is wasted.  The Nitrous Engine, however, can take advantage of this leftover power and can use it to perform significantly more calculations per second.

 

2 Gig Limit

Without getting too technical, the number of memory locations a computer can access is about 2^X where X is some number of bits.  32 bit systems then have much less maximum memory than 64 bit systems which for all intents and purposes in this day and age is infinite.  Thus, the maximum number of bytes a computer can access is 2 billion bytes = 2 gigabytes.

Now, your system is probably 64 bit.  64 bit systems are just simply better because they allow for a system to have effectively infinite memory whereas 32 bit systems run into memory problems when running modern games.  Unfortunately, it's not enough for your computer to be a 64 bit system to fix the problem with Sins I.  You need your software to also be written for 64 bit systems or it'll just run as an inferior 32 bit program (64 bit systems are backwards compatible with 32 bit programs) unless you do some very unpleasant memory gymnastics which I won't detail here.

The Iron Engine is a 32 bit program written at a time when 32 bit systems were still common.  32 bit systems are now going the way of the dinosaurs as 64 bit takes over.  Nitrous is a 64 bit program.

Summary: at the time of Sins I's release, 32 bit systems were beginning to be replaced by the superior 64 bit systems which are immune to the 2 gig limit.  Because 64 bit systems were backwards compatible but 32 bit systems weren't forwards-compatible, the devs decided to make the Iron Engine 32 bit so that it could have as many customers as possible during this volatile transition period between computer architectures, even if this meant that Sins I would always be afflicted by the 2 gig limit.  64 bit systems now reign supreme which is why the new engine Nitrous is a 64 bit program.

 

So what does all this mean?

More ships, prettier textures, prettier particles, better pathing, a combat/buff engine that is more responsive, better fleet maneuvers, etc.  Basically, anything in the game that involves math or memory would be much better off with Nitrous.

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August 2, 2014 12:11:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

More ships, prettier textures, prettier particles, better pathing, a combat/buff engine that is more responsive, better fleet maneuvers, etc.  Basically, anything in the game that involves math or memory would be much better off with Nitrous.

  this is some awesome stuff, thanks volt  :')

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August 2, 2014 12:51:24 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Also they said weapon projectiles are actual objects rather than just visual.

Which hopefully means accuracy, projectile speed and turret speed will affect the ability to hit a moving target.

 

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August 2, 2014 3:58:33 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'd love for turret speed, projectile speed, and distance to impact weapon effects. If so though, we need Newtonian physics. Otherwise everyone will just creep units forward and then stop them because sins units can magically stop on a dime.

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August 2, 2014 5:07:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,

 

again, you just need a better UI. The empire tree and auto fleeting are a start, but it needs to move to the next level. No need to change gameplay. 

 

A better UI would not solve the problem.

 

If you have 2+ battles going on simultaneously, your attention is divided. Either you need to:

 

1. Constantly pause the game

2. Divert your attention (sub-optimal)

3. Automate certain functions

4. Some combination of the above

 

On top of that, you have to manage your empire. There's no way a "better UI" can solve any of that. Maybe if you had 2 battles on 2 monitors going on, with a 3rd monitor for the rest of your empire, in real time, but you'd still have to divert your attention.

 

I'm not saying that Sins 2 should go turn based strategic for sure, but there are definitely huge, huge advantages to doing so. The others are performance, easier to set up a "battle", and a potential for more in depth empire management.

 

 

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August 2, 2014 7:07:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting UnleashedElf,

A better UI would not solve the problem.


If you have 2+ battles going on simultaneously, your attention is divided. Either you need to:

1. Constantly pause the game
2. Divert your attention (sub-optimal)
3. Automate certain functions
4. Some combination of the above


On top of that, you have to manage your empire. There's no way a "better UI" can solve any of that. Maybe if you had 2 battles on 2 monitors going on, with a 3rd monitor for the rest of your empire, in real time, but you'd still have to divert your attention.

I'm not saying that Sins 2 should go turn based strategic for sure, but there are definitely huge, huge advantages to doing so. The others are performance, easier to set up a "battle", and a potential for more in depth empire management.

You talk about multitasking like it's a bad thing in an RTS.  The fact of the matter is in any RTS you'll at times have to manage multiple things at once.  The trick isn't to nullify multitasking.  It's to make that multitasking as convenient as possible so that player skill can shine through.  Multitasking is part of the beauty of RTS games.  A self-sorting Empire Tree so that the actually relevant things bubble to the top would be immensely useful.

Or how about better fleet organization in the tactical view.  My point is, you can actually do a lot more with the UI than you'd think.

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August 2, 2014 7:11:40 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting UnleashedElf,
I'm not saying that Sins 2 should go turn based strategic for sure, but there are definitely huge, huge advantages to doing so. The others are performance, easier to set up a "battle", and a potential for more in depth empire management.

Translation- I suck at micromanagement, macromanagement, and multitasking, and that's why Sins 2 needs turn-based so the game can hold my hand for me.

Conclusion- Sins 2 forums need a minimum threshold of MP games played in order to post.

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August 2, 2014 7:32:40 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ground warfare ISN"T pointless if habitable planets are rare and bombardment causes irreparable eco damage. It got boring always blowing up whatever aliens were on the planet all the time, there was no reason to invade.

 

If they make invasion a decent choice, then people will do it. Sure it's fun bombarding the planets the first hundred times but after a while, it becomes rather generic.

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August 2, 2014 7:37:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting verybad,

Ground warfare ISN"T pointless if habitable planets are rare and bombardment causes irreparable eco damage. It got boring always blowing up whatever aliens were on the planet all the time, there was no reason to invade.

 

If they make invasion a decent choice, then people will do it. Sure it's fun bombarding the planets the first hundred times but after a while, it becomes rather generic.

There are ways to nuke planets such that you don't cause irreparable damage to the economy.  You just focus on different things than if you wanted to raze it or cleanse it.

Also, having to invade planets would be arduously long.  It's much easier to say that you're just installing a puppet government that rules by threat of orbital bombardment.  Don't mistake me in thinking I don't want planets to not have more upgrades ins Sins II.  I would love for surface-to-orbit weapons to be added and the like.

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August 2, 2014 7:42:05 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Why not just glass every planet

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August 2, 2014 8:04:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting upsurper,

Why not just glass every planet
Because the same option for every planet takeover gets boring. Yeah it's fin for a while, but it gets bland if it's the only valid option.

[quote who="Volt_Cruelerz" reply="45" id="3483787"]

Quoting verybad,



There are ways to nuke planets such that you don't cause irreparable damage to the economy.  You just focus on different things than if you wanted to raze it or cleanse it.

I meant ecological damage. Terraforming every single planet is boring. Habitable planets should be much rarer and more valuable. By the end of the game in SOaSE taking over a planet was pretty much the sam EVERY SINGLE TIME.

\Sure, glassing a moonlike or lava planet should be fine, no atmosphere to ruin, no concerns about radiation. It didn't really matter once you were teched out. Economy didn't matter once you have a few planets.

 

Having terran type planets be rare and irreplaceable would make the later game a LOT more interesting.

 

Another option would be to gemove or seriously nerf terraforming technologies.

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August 2, 2014 8:21:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

If you're talking about the idea of having a new ship with the ability to invade planets through a DoT that would take longer than bombing but with less economic harm once you'd conquer it, I'm cool with that and even mapped out how to do it back in 2012 or so and devised a mod to add balance to the game by adding Defense Cruisers (anti-bomber-spam) and Troop Transports (basically a cruiser version of the Corsev with invasion capabilities).  I thought this conversation was about actually having land units though which is something I'm vehemently against because such is arbitrary complexity.

But in terms of giving options to how you want to kill a planet, just make Siege Frigates have two toggled abilities:

Invade: a toggle that deals a slow DoT is dealt to the planet taking much longer to actually conquer it, but just like with Boarding Parties, if successful, it will auto-conquer the planet.  While this is turned on, the ship cannot fire or move.

Glass: a toggle that drastically amps up damage dealt, causes extra population damage, reduces population growth in the future, and strongly repels your culture

 

Glassing can allow for scorched earth policies if you're willing to put up with the culture bonuses which could be useful for late-game when you just want to move on to the next planet because they're dead anyways.  The different factions should also have different sorts of things they do.  Vasari and Advent would have lower culture and population degredation while the TEC with their nukes would get a bigger effect in both regards.  I have to imagine that the Advent would do the most DPS with invasion because they have telekinetic soldiers while the Vasari would do the most damage with standard bombardment.

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August 2, 2014 11:15:17 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,


You talk about multitasking like it's a bad thing in an RTS.  The fact of the matter is in any RTS you'll at times have to manage multiple things at once.  The trick isn't to nullify multitasking.  It's to make that multitasking as convenient as possible so that player skill can shine through.  Multitasking is part of the beauty of RTS games.  A self-sorting Empire Tree so that the actually relevant things bubble to the top would be immensely useful.

Or how about better fleet organization in the tactical view.  My point is, you can actually do a lot more with the UI than you'd think.

 

By that logic, the game that should appeal to you the most is Starcraft 2, where APM is very important. Some of the top players there are not super high on their APM and perhaps EPM, but they are quite effective.

 

The answer is I do think it's somewhat of a bad thing. For small to medium sized maps, it's not an issue. For very large maps though, it really does devolve in a way to a click fest. It's a very single player way to think about things, true, but at the same time, remember 95% of the playerbase is single player.

 

There are other problems. There's a very real reason why the Sins playerbase for multiplayer remains small. Games take far too long. An ability to setup a battle and make shorter battles would build up a much larger playerbase.

 

Another example would be a large map. Say you are facing a 3 battles simultaneously. All 3 opponents are human. On your human opponents, if they are not facing multiple battles simultaneously, or if they are facing AI opponents, then their attention can be directly solely towards you. You would almost certainly lose one battle and be forced to make choices. Assuming you were playing with players with comparable or superior skill to yourself, you'd find yourself losing all 3 battles. That would be a matter of bad luck that would have determined the outcome, much more so than skill.

 

Should Sins 2 be real time tactical, strategic 4X? The answer is, maybe. 4X does bring some problems (most notably waiting for turns), but it does have advantages too.

 

 

Quoting Sinkillr,


Translation- I suck at micromanagement, macromanagement, and multitasking, and that's why Sins 2 needs turn-based so the game can hold my hand for me.

Conclusion- Sins 2 forums need a minimum threshold of MP games played in order to post.

 

You do see the flaw in that logic don't you? I guess not. You're feeling too good about your "superiority".

 

How would the Sins player base ever grow? New players would not be allowed to ask questions, much less post.  And there's nothing "low skill" about 4X gaming. It has a very high skill cap too, depending on the game.

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August 2, 2014 11:34:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting UnleashedElf,
By that logic, the game that should appeal to you the most is Starcraft 2, where APM is very important. Some of the top players there are not super high on their APM and perhaps EPM, but they are quite effective.

The answer is I do think it's somewhat of a bad thing. For small to medium sized maps, it's not an issue. For very large maps though, it really does devolve in a way to a click fest. It's a very single player way to think about things, true, but at the same time, remember 95% of the playerbase is single player.

There are other problems. There's a very real reason why the Sins playerbase for multiplayer remains small. Games take far too long. An ability to setup a battle and make shorter battles would build up a much larger playerbase.

Should Sins 2 be real time tactical, strategic 4X? The answer is, maybe. 

[Response to the troll]

Starcraft has never particularly interested me, in large part due to the scale.  I'm not saying that we should detract from the 4X aspects of Sins.  I'm just saying that jumping to the turn-based strategic level is unnecessary as you could just use a better UI.  The fact that endgame becomes an inefficient clickfest to manage your empire is evidence that the UI doesn't handle that situation well.

The very thing I'm saying is that the UI works for Sins and it works well, but only at the smaller scales (still larger than many other games).  It needs help if it's going to deal with truly massive forces.  Changing the Empire Tree to smarter and changing fleeting to be a tree structure has a minimal impact on how the game is played yet fixes the problems.  Changing the gameplay on a fundamental level also fixes the problems but changes the gameplay on a fundamental level which will alienate many otherwise devoted players *waves hand furiously.*

There's just no need to make big gameplay changes if UI changes could fix it.

The game takes so long because of its scale in terms of planets.  I don't see how anyone is going to fix that, especially when some see it not as a problem but as a feature.

 

Also, don't feed the trolls.  It's not worth your time.  I've just started ignoring him.

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