No mini-expansions, big full expansion instead this year

"Sometimes evil wins"

By on May 29, 2006 12:18:27 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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The ship design feature of Galactic Civilizations II has become one of the most popular features in the game. It is far more popular than we had ever expected and gives us a lot of ideas in the future on how to make it even better.  While the coding team has been working on v1.1, v1.2, and soon v1.3, we tried to think of something for the art team to work on. Art, as many people know, is expensive. That is doubly true of art that involved being modeled, textured, rendered, lit, etc.  So the question was posed -- if we put up a mini-expansion for $9, would people buy it? The expansion would have had probably around 2 new hulls per ship style along with a ton of jewelry (10 hulls total I believe plus countless other parts).

While a narrow majority of people wanted it, it would have really required a super majority (i.e. like 75%) to justify the expense involved.  The decision was made to roll ship pieces into the expansion pack which we expect to announce early next month (it won't be out until near the end of this year). We've got the plot down for the campaign and that links does give away a couple of the features in the expansion. There will be more playable civilizations in the expansion pack but two of the existing ones will be destroyed by the end of the campaign and won't be in any future sequel as a major race.  The new poll lets players try to guess one of the 2 major civilizations to be making a final exist in the expansion.

Update: The campaign is NOT the main emphasis of the expansion. There will be a number of significant new features that the expansion will center around.  Moreover, while 2 races will be destroyed during the campaign, they will still exist (along with the 2 new ones) in sandbox mode. In a future sequel (ala a GalCiv 3 some years from now) they would be removed.

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May 29, 2006 1:03:25 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Well thats a shame about the ship pack but I certainly understand the business decision. So we'll be getting a nice xmas present from Stardock instead. I think I can live with that .
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May 29, 2006 1:24:26 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I agree.

How did you put it in the poll at the GalCiv 1 site some time ago: "You keep adding more stuff and we keep buying it."
Count me in!
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May 29, 2006 1:52:01 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Disappointed about the ship pack.

I hope Stardock take the opportunity of the expansion to add some increased variety (e.g. organic hulls, crystalline hulls, matching jewellery etc.)
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May 29, 2006 2:50:38 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I don't understand why I would want to pay money for something that could be concievably added by a third party for free.
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May 29, 2006 3:29:28 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Two races will be eleminated ?

Damn hehe
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May 29, 2006 4:44:45 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Why can't we vote for the Terran Alliance? Those pesky humans have been causing trouble for far too long, it's about time their entire race was exterminated. I shall return to my underground kingdom and refuse to wash under my nine armpits until they are amongst the races up for the chop. Lets see how you like that when my BO starts to accumulate!
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May 29, 2006 5:26:29 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Well i would have liked to see the mini-expanision pack(s). 9 bucks is incredibly fair. But thats over with now. I look forward to the expansion and the "dark" storyline.
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May 29, 2006 7:03:39 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I'm glad you're going this route- does this mean expansion will be in the full pack, or is that still TBD? Also hoping you make the Snathi a playable race.

If you want to make the art team busy- how about Korx, Iconian, Drath, and Thalan hulls for the base game? All those races should have base hulls.
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May 29, 2006 7:37:37 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Isn't killing off a major race a bit extreme? They should still be avaialble in "sandbox" mode in future versions (if not in the campaigns).

What are the odds the humans are the major race to get killed off? You'd never see that - a science fiction game where the humans don't survive or aren't heroes. (But actually, you could kill off the humans as a major race and have humans still surviving in other factions.)
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May 29, 2006 7:40:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I wanted the ship expansion too. Big meanie jerks voting No. That's right, 23% of you know who I'm talking about!
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May 29, 2006 8:16:17 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Although I'm sad that there won't be the small ship expansion pack, I guess I can wait a bit for a full scale expansion.
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May 29, 2006 9:13:17 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
If the plan is to remove two races and replace them with two new ones, that's simply a dumb idea. Sure, your campaign etc etc, but I suggest you start a 'do you care about the campaign' poll, so you can discover most people *don't*. In sandbox, why ever remove a race? Why ever remove anything that isn't broken? Please, just change the UI to allow 12 selectable races - it doesn't matter if the max is still 10 total. Removing content is just... crazy.
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May 29, 2006 9:28:33 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
No, the expansin pack will have two ADDITIONAL playable races. It's just during the story 2 of the existing ones will be wiped out.  So you will be able to have a lot more players.
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May 29, 2006 9:30:00 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Isn't killing off a major race a bit extreme? They should still be avaialble in "sandbox" mode in future versions (if not in the campaigns).

What are the odds the humans are the major race to get killed off? You'd never see that - a science fiction game where the humans don't survive or aren't heroes. (But actually, you could kill off the humans as a major race and have humans still surviving in other factions.)

They will still be in the sandbox mode. We're just talking about the story here and future sequels (ala some future GalCiv III).

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May 29, 2006 10:09:11 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I think creating an expansion that focuses on a new campaign as its primary focus is a mistake. I've never been one for campaigns in TBS games, they are too constricting. I'd much rather you focus on improving the United Planets, epsionage and other game mechanics. Having other sides people incorporated into your population mean more would also be a bonus, I'd really like to see say the Drengin in my empire get upset because I was at war with them.

Other cool things I'd like to see are:
* Ability to have Dread Lords show up in sandbox mode attacking others at random.
* Have more government options based on the type of race being played. A race with a hive mind like the Thalan wouldn't conceive of democracy and neither would a warrior race like the Drengin. For example have the Drengin player's popularity fall if he ISN'T at war with someone!

Also a race or two that liked unhabitable planets to the other races would be very interesting and having an ability to 'close' your borders to other races would be fun.

To be honest, I've never really found the races in GalCiv2 to have that much character except for the Yor (remind me of the creepy Klikiss robots from Saga of the Seven Suns), the Drengin, the Terrans and the Altarians (always liked the idea of another 'human' race out there).

Having the option where all the evil and good races group together in the same part of the map would also be good.
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May 29, 2006 11:26:16 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
voted yes for the extra ship stuff but with all the modding that should be going on I can see why people voted no. I would still like stuff from stardock though
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May 30, 2006 1:06:06 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I think creating an expansion that focuses on a new campaign as its primary focus is a mistake. I've never been one for campaigns in TBS games, they are too constricting. I'd much rather you focus on improving the United Planets, epsionage and other game mechanics.


I hate to say it, but I agree with waitingtoconnect. I am sure lots of people have, but I haven't even played through the existing campaign and probably wouldn't play through an expansion's campaign. I know you guys put a lot of effort into the campaign, but it is too restrictive for me. It is only my opinion, but I would like to see much more effort put into the elements that make sandbox mode fun. I play game after game of sandbox, because I love the game. Either way, I am 100% positive that I am going to buy the expansion! Keep up the good work!
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May 30, 2006 1:46:35 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I hate to say it, but I agree with waitingtoconnect. I am sure lots of people have, but I haven't even played through the existing campaign and probably wouldn't play through an expansion's campaign.



I would like to second this notion. I never really feel the draw to the campaign in a sandbox type of game, especially not the way the campaign is handled right now. Trying to create a background story is a welcome afford, but IMO it should not be high priority.

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May 30, 2006 3:10:42 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Right decission ,
The ship design is nice but I want to play strategic game , if I only wanted to draw new ships I woul use 3D Max instead.
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May 30, 2006 3:10:50 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I have yet to make it past the first campaign mission. Whatever programming wizards you guys at Stardock are (and wizards you are), you just aren't storytellers, or at least not yet. We get yet another cliche-strewn science fiction "epic" pieced together with stuff we've all seen before a hundred times. Space guns, forced diplomacy, and planetary invasions are a lot of fun for a game, but they make terrible plot items -- look at Independance Day or the latest Star Wars films. The concept is much more fun than the execution in a storyline.

To give things even a glimmer of freshness, I try to watch movies like Aliens from the point of view of the Alien. If an Alien audience was watching Aliens, they'd be howling with laughter like it was "There's Something About Mary" mixed with "Airplane", until the last fifteen minutes, which would be like the ending of "Das Boot" or "Apocalypse Now". Those hairy, loud, stupid humans keep getting killed in very amusing and logical ways until that one lady -- it's always the same lady -- somehow turns the tables and tragically wipes out the entire Alien race singlehandedly. It would be a bit like if the fish called Wanda from A Fish Called Wanda got out of her tank and slaughtered London, starting with Kevin Kline and Michael Palin, and moving on from there.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy that kind of science fiction, where the human always win, and the enemy aliens have this sort of funny-opera over-the-top violence -- but it's not deep, it's predicatble as a Sienfeld rerun, and ultimately, it doesn't add much new or exciting to the genre.

Now, if Patrick O'Brian, Ernest Hemingway, and Philip K. Dick all got together to write a sci-fi epic...
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May 30, 2006 3:14:38 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I'm a little disappointed about the mini-pack, but that's life. At least we'll get the content at some point, which is always a good thing.

Regarding the soon to be destroyed races, I notice the Iconians are number 2 in the poll! Eek! Personally I love the Iconians. Not only do they look cool, but they have the interesting backstory (vs Yor). I think the races to go should be the least interesting ones, not necessarily the least playable ones. I know Brad cares a lot about the backstory - he wrote it!

The story behind the game is quite interesting, and I would prefer it to remain that way. Modders could always put the other dead races back into future games, so thats not really a top concern for me. If the story behind the game isn't good, then the races become meaningless and uninteresting. Custom races can mimic them and without personality they are quite boring.

I would prefer the Korx and the Thalans to go, but I could tolerate the Altarians being wiped out if some refugees make it to the Terran Alliance, bringing some nice tech with them and showing up from time time as special characters. I'd like to say a little about each race, and how they make me feel. I'll leave out the Terrans as they aren't up for the chop:

Altarians - There is an interesting story surrounding the Altarians and humans. Aside from that though I don't think there is any reason to have two "human" race. If the mystery becomes resolved I would be fine seeing the Altarians being destroyed, and the survivors integrating into Terran culture.

Drengin - Humanity's worst nightmare! I couldn't imagine the game without them, and the rivalry between the two is one of the defining things about the game's lore. I doubt they will go, as they are in the original backstory for the game.

Arceans - The Arceans also have a lot of history within the lore of the game. They are the first race I think of when I think "neutral". I would like to know more about their warrior culture.

Torians - These guys are too cute to die. To me they feel like Earth's best friends in the universe. The Altarians always make me think they have a hidden motive behind their actions, but these guys have a face you can trust. I enjoy the story about their enslavement and ultimate victory over the Drengin. That lore makes me care about them.

Yor - The fact that the Drengin will take these machines as their allies speaks volumes. As the only synthetic race I find them to be extremely interesting, especially when paired with the Iconians. They also look very cool.

Iconians - When I want to imagine an ancient advanced race, I think of the Iconians. They look cool, and their history with the Yor is interesting. They compliment each other nicely. The first word I think of when I see them is "sleek".

Korx - I really don't care much for the Korx. I get that they are mercenaries, but they don't feel part of the same universe as the other races. Maybe I haven't studied the lore carefully enough, but they seem like an 'extra'.

Drathi - Although this race looks cooler than the Korx, I feel about the same way about them. They seem to have a beef with the Altarians, which sucks them into the lore a little more. If the Korx were removed, and the Drathi took on a little of their persona and abilities, I think they could stay.

Thalans - I get that they come from "somewhere else", but they seem to have a seperate story, and again, this race doesn't feel like a part of the same universe as the others. It's interesting to have an insectoid race, but they don't play any differently. This is another race I wouldn't miss.

So my top choices for the chop (in order of most likely to die) would be: Korx, Thalans, Altarians and Drathi. If any of the others didn't make it I would probably shed a tear or two.
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May 30, 2006 6:55:31 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
What a shame about the extra hulls.... That is very sad....
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May 30, 2006 8:17:31 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Personally i don't see anything to ashame about not buying a ship pack.First of all the game is a TBS game not only a shipbuilder.Secondly a graphic pack would have had a better result in my opinion, more portraits for minors,more texture for planets, unique hulls for every race could have pushed me to buy it.Anyway for us european i hope the expansion pack will be also available through paradox or the cost would be really high to book a copy from america.
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May 30, 2006 8:52:49 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Anyway for us european i hope the expansion pack will be also available through paradox or the cost would be really high to book a copy from america.

High costs? My credit card costs 1€ per month and there are no extra charges when buying from Stardock.
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May 30, 2006 10:08:39 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I think creating an expansion that focuses on a new campaign as its primary focus is a mistake. I've never been one for campaigns in TBS games, they are too constricting. I'd much rather you focus on improving the United Planets, epsionage and other game mechanics. Having other sides people incorporated into your population mean more would also be a bonus, I'd really like to see say the Drengin in my empire get upset because I was at war with them.

I totally agree, the sandbox game is way more fun than the campaign! I also would expanded diplomancy and expanded role for the UP.

Also, currently when a race surrenders to another, the second race gets their planets. In addition they should also get their starbases, ships, technology, and star maps. Also the fortunes of war should play a role in your race's moral. If you are doing well your moral goes up and if you are losing it goes down; surely losing key planets (homeworld, capitals, and high PQ planets) should lower your moral.
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