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Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway

Stardock announces beta testing of Galactic Civilizations III is now underway for founding supporters of the space strategy sequel, apologizing to those who want in on this that they are still offering the game for $5.00 less than its eventual full price. This trailer accompanies the news, and here's word:

We’ve officially launched the beta! Bells are ringing, birds are singing, and it’s a beautiful day to dig up the archives of a forgotten race’s reality TV shows and use them to placate a restive populace that for some reason doesn’t see the value in mandatory six-month stints working the factories of the nearest forgeworld.

To all of our Founders, thank you so much for your early support. Elite Founders, your feedback and bug reporting has been invaluable in getting Galactic Civilizations III ready for a wider audience. Fire up your Steam client, and it should patch your install to the beta automatically.

To anyone waiting for Galactic Civilizations III to be regular price before diving in, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Sadly, the game is $44.99 during the beta rather than its regular $49.99 price. We beg your forgiveness.

Follow the development of Galactic Civilizations III throughout the beta, ask the team your questions live, and get sneak peeks of upcoming builds every Friday on the official Stardock Twitch channel.

The Galactic Civilizations III beta includes:

  • Race-specific tech trees – Each race discovers the secrets of creation in its own way. Look out for Drengin invasions a whole age before anyone else can pull one off.
  • Ideology rework – Get an entire invasion fleet for free, take control of all planets inside your sphere of influence, and more!
  • Huge hulls – For when you absolutely, positively, have to kill every last filthy alien in the quadrant.
  • New colonization events – Thirty more events will challenge your ideology whenever you bring the light of civilization to a new world.
  • Terraforming – Maximize your adjacency bonuses by filling in gaps on your colonies with SCIENCE!
  • Map features – Durantium, Elerium, and Antimatter are now on the map, waiting to be harvested by your starbases. Watch out for black holes!
  • So much more – reworked planet traits, shipyard queues, automatic improvement upgrading, tons of new art, vastly improved rendering (ships are so shiny now!), the list goes on.

Read the full patch notes here.

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36 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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36. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 17, 2014, 19:55 eRe4s3r
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 17:01:
AngelicPenguin wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 15:31:
I never played GalCiv2, but I thought the AI was supposed to be one of the best - no?

It was. Higher diffs did not just mean higher production and economy bonusses, it also meant the AI got more routines turned on. So where on lower diffs it would let you get away with amassing a fleet on its border, on higher diffs it would warn you to take them away or face war, etc.

But yeah, eventually the full AI was on, and then diff levels above that would just get bonusses.

The AI in Galciv 2 was excellent. Even if it stays the same, it'll still be a lot of fun to play against.

AI was only decent because you couldn't tell it to fuck off with it's space stations in your territory. (funnily, neither could the AI do that to you) so the game always degenerated in a station rush. He who had the most had the most advantages. That was a stupid as hell gameplay idea
 
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35. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 15, 2014, 17:37 Slashman
 
Island Dog wrote on Aug 15, 2014, 17:01:
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 22:34:
Slashman wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 20:42:
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried

I honestly can't remember if they said you'd have control over it this time or not...

There's not going to be tactical combat, but the fleet battles will be greatly improved over GC2. They are also looking at ways to have more user interaction during battles.

I'm OK with having no direct control over individual ships. But I very much do not want a boring cinematic scenario. I'd like at least some formation orders and maybe set attack/defense priorities. Something that lets me feel like I have a say in the outcome of the battle.
 
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34. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 15, 2014, 17:01  Island Dog 
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 22:34:
Slashman wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 20:42:
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried

I honestly can't remember if they said you'd have control over it this time or not...

There's not going to be tactical combat, but the fleet battles will be greatly improved over GC2. They are also looking at ways to have more user interaction during battles.
 
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33. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 22:34 Creston
 
Slashman wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 20:42:
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried

I honestly can't remember if they said you'd have control over it this time or not...
 
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32. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 20:42 Slashman
 
The combat in this better not be crap like GalCiv 2.

It worries me that no one is actually talking about it. Worried
 
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31. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 18:54 MisterBenn
 
I'll join in and vouch for Distant Worlds as well! It's the Space 4X I play most these days. It's got by far the best "clockwork universe" in any 4X that I've played - all the star systems and space objects out there are simulated in real time, and everyone's ship movements and conflicts are resoved in real time alongside so the gameplay flows nicely. I like that the races are not precanned, individual empires are made from permutations of race type and government type. You don't just have "the science guys" empire, you could bump into more than one scientific faction but they might be benevelent, warmongering or isolationist etc. There are so many factors in the mix that exploring and seeing the galaxy develop is often very interesting.

It's definitely a heavyweight game, as usual there's a bit of a learning curve to getting started. On top of the usual game mechanics you have a swathe of empire automation options, macro controls and micro controls in front of you - and a lot of the learning up front is experimenting to find which combination will give you the level of control you want over your empire.

I missed out on GalCiv II back in the day, the games that I played for any decent length of time were Orion 2 => Space Empires V => Distant Worlds. I'll be keeping a close eye on this one, I definitely have room for a more streamlined 4X that can be played multiplayer to sit alongside Distant Worlds!
 
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Playing: Path of Exile, Age of Wonders III
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30. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 17:45 BIGtrouble77
 
I will be buying this simply because of how great GalCiv II (still) is, but there are a lot of players today.

I'm not sure if this game can pull me from Distant Worlds any time soon. I'm also concerned that the game mechanics have not improved much. Hopefully the new scale is enough to make the game play less predictably.
 
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29. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 17:01 Creston
 
AngelicPenguin wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 15:31:
I never played GalCiv2, but I thought the AI was supposed to be one of the best - no?

It was. Higher diffs did not just mean higher production and economy bonusses, it also meant the AI got more routines turned on. So where on lower diffs it would let you get away with amassing a fleet on its border, on higher diffs it would warn you to take them away or face war, etc.

But yeah, eventually the full AI was on, and then diff levels above that would just get bonusses.

The AI in Galciv 2 was excellent. Even if it stays the same, it'll still be a lot of fun to play against.
 
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28. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 16:21 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Ok, I'm fairly interested, but need to hear what sort of depth and improvements we'll see with the combat aspects. Pretty sure that will make or break this game for me.  
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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27. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:44 Rigs
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 14:07:
Rigs wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 14:04:
Or maybe I'm expecting too much?

Not at all! You should Kickstart that. 25K should see you well on your way.

Ha! I may have ideas but with no programming or design experience, I'd probably have as much luck as Yogscast...wait a sec, aren't they sipping on Mai-Tais on a far-away beach with like $150k after claiming they didn't know what the hell they were doing, got funded anyway and then cancelled the project without refunds? Well, in that case, I'll just go ahead an put you in on the $10,000 'Admiral-wannabe'-tier...no, no, you can thank me later! Deal (you know, right before I deactivate all my social accounts and vanish off the gird)... Outtahere


=-Rigs-=

This comment was edited on Aug 14, 2014, 15:53.
 
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'Who am I?...I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are EVER going to see. GOD sent me.'
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26. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:41 Ozmodan
 
Still waiting for one of this 4x space games to come close to what Master of Orion II had and add to it. Gal Civ II was not even close. I don't think Stardock gets it.  
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25. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:35 Rigs
 
Pigeon wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 15:22:
I hope to see smarter AI. In the GCivII increasing difficulty just gave the AI huge Economic and Production bonuses. Also when they start building stations in my territory I'd like a way to tell the AI to fuck off or learn to exist as a cloud of ionized gas.

Funny you mention the AI, as in Distant Worlds Universe, it was one of the major topics that they addressed and the number of options available to you is almost overwhelming! Seriously, DCU is the War In The Pacific: Admirals Edition of space-based 4X games. It's so detailed and extremely moddable in the latest release. Practically the whole game except the underlying core can be changed, modded, adjusted...whatever. That's probably a game I'd like Stardock to take a que from and emulate the best they could, especially in the diplomacy and exploration areas. My god, DCU with GC2/3's UI and graphics? Drool


=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
'Who am I?...I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are EVER going to see. GOD sent me.'
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24. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:31 AngelicPenguin
 
I never played GalCiv2, but I thought the AI was supposed to be one of the best - no?  
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23. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:22 Pigeon
 
I hope to see smarter AI. In the GCivII increasing difficulty just gave the AI huge Economic and Production bonuses. Also when they start building stations in my territory I'd like a way to tell the AI to fuck off or learn to exist as a cloud of ionized gas.  
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22. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 15:10 jdreyer
 
Graphics looking a lot better. The reveal trailer was using GCII placeholders.

I played the crap out of GCII. I'll wait a bit on this though. I want to see what's different besides graphics and the fact that it can handle a lot more actors simultaneously.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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21. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 14:34 NegaDeath
 
DrEvil wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 12:52:
That ridiculous price was a founder's edition which gets future dlc, the current offering is just an early beta of the game without any extra perks.

And to add to that for those not in the know Stardock promised expansions along the lines of Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor (both great), plus smaller DLC ala Chivalry. Think of the Founders edition like buying the game and the season pass.
 
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20. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 14:27 Silicon Avatar
 
Does it have fun combat now or is it still the simulated "movie" version of GalCiv 2?

 
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19. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 14:08 Creston
 
ASeven wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 13:09:
Creston, have you tried Distant Worlds: Universe? If not, get it right the fuck now! I think you might fall in love with it.

No, I haven't, but I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip.
 
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18. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 14:07 Creston
 
Rigs wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 14:04:
Or maybe I'm expecting too much?

Not at all! You should Kickstart that. 25K should see you well on your way.
 
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17. Re: Galactic Civilizations III Beta Underway Aug 14, 2014, 14:04 Rigs
 
Creston wrote on Aug 14, 2014, 12:49:
The big update is just the sheer scope. Galciv 2 could handle a few thousand "actors" (ships, planets, space stations, rebels, etc) in its engine before it would crap out. This engine is solely 64 bit, and built from the ground up to handle hundreds of thousands of actors. So the entire scope of the game will increase by an incredible amount.

Other than having actual combat, what really needed dramatic overhauls or improvements in Galciv2? It was already pretty darn great.

I mean, I'm not entirely sure exactly what could have been drastically changed to make it better, I guess just more of everything, which, as you noted, is what's happening. Mainly, I suppose, if I really think hard about it, GC3 could've been a good time to re-think the UI a little bit. Don't get me wrong, you're absolutely right, Creston, there really wasn't anything inherently wrong with GC2. Please don't think I was implying that. It's just that I was under the impression that maybe the graphics and UI would have been overhauled or different in some way that would blow me away, like Crysis-level detail, a native DirectX12 and/or Mantle-compatible graphics engine with PhysX-enhanced physics for close-up battles between fleets and individual super-massive battlecruisers, that take real-time damage at the point of impact and have pieces of the ship break off or explode. Maybe a ground-combat engine with the same detail, possibly on procedurally-generated planets with unique, real-time, dynamic weather systems, whole cities with citizens that go about their own lives that you can zoom down to and watch, opening up a range of intelligence and espionage options, along with assassination missions for your intel ops agents. You know, a rogue-like, 3rd person, turn-based, tactical real-time, strategy action simulation 4X hybrid (try an' fit all THAT shit on the box! ) with RPG elements....

Or maybe I'm expecting too much?


=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
'Who am I?...I am the right hand of vengeance and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am death incarnate, and the last living thing that you are EVER going to see. GOD sent me.'
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