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12. Re: StarDrive Pre-Purchases Get Beta Access Mar 10, 2013, 22:22 Crustacean Soup
 
I took a chance and bought it. The game is pretty fun, though I can see there's room for balancing before release. Still making up my mind, but so far I'm liking it.

The game feels a bit more like a typical 4X and less like an RTS than does, say, SOASE.

You get a set number of tiles on planets on which to build improvements, and you can further specialize by tweaking the % of a planet's population that works on research, production, or food, and whether to import or export food and production. Freighters auto-trade resources or colonists between planets. You can have a pure research planet that depends on agriculture and mining planets to survive.

There's ship design (2D grid with parts), typical 4Xy diplomacy (with fairly reactive AI who declare war when you're weak, suck up when you're strong, etc.), and bog standard tree research, but all taking place in real time. There don't seem to be as many things to do to influence a battle. There are no RTSy unit powers or whatnot. You can try to micro, but there are so many fast-moving ships and so many different firing arcs...

Problems? Ships avoid engaging enemies in the same star system unless they're nearly adjacent or on "empire defense" mode (which does what it says if you forget to manually set up an AO). The research tree feels like it could be fleshed out a bit (or it's just too fast to move through it at the default Pace setting). I hit one event that unlocks some powerful ship parts, and it wasn't clear if the AI did too -- if they did, their designs weren't making great use of them. Launching/using troops is a little weird, and it seems a bit too easy to get them past enemy ships and straight to the planet. And it's easy to get into debt without noticing and then lose everything to rebels.
 
 
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