Game Setup

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Starmap Setup

  • The host will choose a 3-D starmap configuration during setup.
    • There is no longer a slider for the number of stars. [1]
    • The star locations and node lines are fixed on each particular map.
    • The star types and the number and types of planets will be randomly configured within the general starmap shape. This ensures that no two games will be the same. [2]
    • Not every system will have viable planets. Some systems might not even have planets. [3]

The new map generator creates a much more terrain based, much less math volume space than the original SotS. [4]

Starmap Editor

  • The game has a full GUI map editor. [5] For other editors, please see the Modding page.

Galaxy Size

"One-on-one with max stars in Sword of the Stars was about as epic as the game got - playing out that type of game required a level of commitment that boggles the mind, but SotS was all about setting up the game to suit your tastes. SotS2 will be the same, but there will not be 350 systems, not when each one could have multiple planets. No final max count yet - anything I say now is being tweaked, but basically try to imagine the trade off. If SotS1 had 1:1 stars to planets, and SotS2 is 1:4-5 (let's say), you get a sense of how much, roughly, we'll be scaling down the max galaxy. Playtesting and inner-system movement and combat, and how that all feels and plays out is what will affect the final max value, but that should give you some ideas."[6]

As of April 20th, 2011, Mecron feels that 10 — 15 stars per player will be a good, large game. [7]

As of August 23rd, 2011, Mecron feels that maps can be in the 150 star range without it being a nightmare of production micromanagement. [8]

Player Setup

  • Players will be able to choose any of the allowed factions during the initial setup.
  • A player will be able to select both the base player color and the auxiliary color of your ships, with the base player color from a set, auxiliary color from a spectrum. [9]
  • Once the game has begun a faction cannot be changed.

AI Difficulty

The AI difficulty settings are as follows: [10]

  • Easy - Research -25%, Production -25%, Revenue -25%
  • Medium - no changes
  • Hard - Research +25%, Production +25%, Revenue +25%, Population Growth +10%

Multi-player = Single Player

  • LAN play is supported. [11]
  • Up to eight slots filled with any combination of people and AI will be present in a game.
  • Games that start as single-player (only AI opponents) can be opened up for other networked players to take over the AI slots.
  • During a multi-player game, if a person leaves or is disconnected an AI opponent will take over that slot.

Achievements

You can expect a whole host of wild and woolly achievements that not only will let you brag across the breadth of Paradox Connect, but even unlock badges or graffiti for your own ships. [12] There will also be Steam achievements for those who buy the game on Steam. [13]

Crisis Events

Crisis Events are the spiritual successors to the Grand Menaces from SotS Prime. At least six have been confirmed.[14] It has been confirmed that the Peacekeeper Enforcer will be returning.[15] The player will have the option to turn Crisis Events on or off at game creation. [16]

Random Encounters

Encounters with easter egg randoms are far less binary live/die and are far more dynamic "what's its worth to me to poke my head in right now?" situations. [17]

Scenarios

Some of the classic scenarios will be making an appearance in SotS 2. [18] Kerberos is also working on some scenarios that have faction specific victory conditions. [19]

Skirmish Mode

A "skirmish mode" might be included in the first expansion after many of the surprises, new weapons and new ships have already been revealed. [20] Skirmish Mode would be available in both SP and MP. [21]

Stellar Phenomena

There will be features in the strategic map, such as Black Holes [22] and Nebula, that are not a part of the skybox. [23] Initially these were to actually have some sort of in-game effect, but testing was showing the effects to be not as fun as they looked on paper [24] so the effects may not make in to the final release. Binary stars are modeled by just having stars close together on the strategic map. Binaries within a few AU's of each other are assumed to be so chaotic as to disrupt useful planetary formation and hence are abstracted from the game. [25] A black hole is usually alone as its own dark star. Planets will rotate during combat and move in their orbits between strategic turns. [26]

Tool Tips

In terms of tool tips, right now the developers priority is trying to devise an effective contextual tool tips system that functions like a low level adviser for players. To take an example from SotS prime, a planets morale number shows red and that's about it; the game warns the player that something bad is happening and then hopefully they find their way through the manual or screens to do things to make morale stop going red. What the developers are aiming for right now is a tool tip situation that when the player puts the pointer over the red number, a tool tip says "Hey morale is dropping! Have you tried saving more money or building a police ship?" [27]

Tool tips will also explain why something is acting the way it is. [28] So for example if your planets morale changed last turn, a tool tip will show what caused the change [29] in addition to how to possibly fix it.

Victory Conditions

In addition to the "last player standing" and alliance victories from SotS 1, there will be a set of generic victory conditions the player can add to any map battle, with things like land grab, or first to 5 LV's, or other conditional victory objectives. And then there are scenario specific victory conditions. [30] There are also prohibitive failure conditions. [31] An example of a failure condition is "Win the game but if you lose more than 2 provinces, you lose automatically". [32]

References

  1. Mecron in Forum Post
  2. Mecron in Forum Post
  3. Mecron in Forum Post
  4. Mecron in Forum Post
  5. Mecron in Forum Post
  6. Castewar on Paradox Forums (post #9)
  7. Mecron in Forum Post
  8. Mecron in Forum Post
  9. Mecron in Forum Post
  10. r22173b Update Notes
  11. Mecron in Forum Post
  12. Mecron in Strategy Informer Interview
  13. Mecron in Forum Post
  14. examiner.com preview
  15. Forum post
  16. Mecron in Forum Post
  17. Mecron in Forum Post
  18. Mecron in Forum Post
  19. Mecron in Forum Post
  20. Mecron in Forum Post
  21. Mecron in Forum Post
  22. Mecron in Forum Post
  23. Mecron in Forum Post
  24. Mecron in Forum Post
  25. Mecron in Forum Post
  26. Mecron in Forum Post
  27. Mecron in Forum Post
  28. Mecron in Forum Post
  29. Mecron in Forum Post
  30. Mecron in Forum Post
  31. Mecron in Forum Post
  32. Mecron in Forum Post