OK, my opinion??? I love these DLC's!!! I've been playing Sins since it first came out, way before entrenchment and diplomacy and it's finally evolved into the game I always hoped it could be... and I sure hope there are more DLC's to come.
I have to tell you about the game I (finally) finished. 16 hours!!! Wow!!!
But I should warn you all: Spoilers! If you don't want to know about the new stuff in this DLC, don't read any more, OK?
6 race FFA, one of each race set to hard, this time myself as VL. I made a big (radius 250) map to check out all the new DLC features: 85 planets around a black hole... Coming out from the black hole is a spiral of shattered planets and asteroid belts to a ring of plasma and radiation storms. From here there are 6 spirals of 5 planets each: ferris or volcanic, oceanic or greenhouse, terran, desert, and finally ice, which are part of a final ring of ice fields with some scattered pirates. I also threw in the comet and such down near the blackhole.
First off, and most important as far as I'm concerned... this game was 16 hours long, and not one AI team flatlined!!!! I can't tell you how frustrating it can be to play a long game, only to find one race just sort of "quit".... grrrrr!!! But not this time, this time they all slugged it out to the end!!! WOOHOO!!!!!! And all 5 other races expanded at about the same rate, so the map ended up very balanced when it was filled out. The TL were my first big threat, they didn't like me... the AL and AR mostly left me alone, and the TR and VR were too busy slugging it out with each other. Once I got rid of the TL, the rest was just a matter of divide and conquer... but a long time in doing.
So I agree with jtillung: Open Rebellion is quite annoying, but still I would leave it in. I found the way it worked in this game was to almost always hit my newly conquered worlds, ones with low populations and culture... and when I thought about it, this is how it probably would happen in real life... the newly conquered worlds would rise up before the long oppressed ones, wouldn't they??? So yes, it was annoying, but also exactly what should happen... you're prepping for a major battle.. but awww hell, those thrice damned rebels are acting up again.... Guess I better dispatch a squad to squash them.... hehehe
Something else I noticed, things like plasma and mag storms, and Gamma Ray bursts almost always happened near the blackhole, and I don't think one traveled more than maybe 3-4 phase lanes from the blackhole. I'm not complaining, quite the opposite, it fit in well with this map... all the violent crap happening down near the blackhole... perfect in fact!!! But I'm curious... is this intentional? Are they only supposed to travel out a few lanes? If so, I will use this when I do my new maps and design them to take advantage.
Some will most likely disagree, and that's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But myself??? I love the random events, and I would like to see even more. It shakes things up, adds a little chaos into what might be a predictable outcome... and I love that! Nothing more boring than being halfway thru a game and knowing you've already won..... now it's not quite so easy... think you have the game beat and suddenly you get hit with an economic downturn, and an insane titan just showed up and began reaping havoc.... what????
yeah..... with these 2 DLC's to beef up the expansions, SINS is starting to really kick ass!!! please, PLEASE think about more, OK? One thing I would love to see is our own solar system. I know there are MODS to do this, but MODS take time to catch up to the game, and I would prefer to be MOD free if possible. Please consider it... defending Earth from an alien invasion.... or trying to invade Earth??? How much fun would that be??? hehehe
Thank you Stardock, you did good!!!