Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor

Beta Schedule

By on October 5, 2007 3:41:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

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BETA SCHEDULE

The second expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations II is about to go into beta. For Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor, we're going to try something different. Something that we think will be particularly fun.

The biggest single feature of the expansion pack isn't the Terror Stars, which are admittedly pretty cool. And it's not the map editor, campaign editor or scenario editor which do add a lot of new possibilities. And it's not even the Metaverse tournaments, which will probably be pretty popular. Nor is it the updated graphics which do bring Galactic Civilizations II up to a whole new level. No, it's the unique technology trees per player.

Let me emphasize this: The fact that each of the 12 major races will have their own technology trees we think is a major milestone for this type of game. The implications of it are far-reaching since technology trees are from whence ship components, planetary improvements, etc. come from.

Let me further add that these technology trees are not just cosmetic changes. Let me give you a couple of examples: The Arceans don't get Warp Drive or any other higher level propulsion techs. Instead, they have special factories unique to them that allow them to make their own ships faster. The Yor don't have factories but instead have collectives that produce based on their population. And, did we mention...these techs are tradeable back and forth. But thanks to a new AI enhancement (a willingness to trade a particular tech variable) tech trading will become vastly more intelligent.

So for the beta, to reward the users who are pre-ordering the beta (and hence funding this project) we are doing something special: The betas will introduce the unique technology trees in small groups so that players can really see the impact of them and have a chance at being introduced to them and be able to make suggestions on how they can be tweaked.

Below is the tentative schedule: UPDATED

  • Beta 1: October 25th - Terran Alliance, Drengin, Arcean technology trees

  • Beta 2: November 8 - Yor, Torian, Korath technology trees added

  • Beta 3: November 20 - Korx, Drath, Iconians trees added

  • Beta 4: November 29 - Thalan, Altarian, Krynn technology trees added

  • Release Date: December 12.

As much as we've enjoyed Dark Avatar as an expansion pack, I am certain that Twilight of the Arnor will be liked even more by players.

To pre-order Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor visit here.

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October 5, 2007 4:25:26 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Wow.
Glad pre-ordered it now!
Now I just need to know how to fast forward time...
Anyone got a time machine lieing around?
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October 5, 2007 4:28:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Okay, now I have a new reason to preorder. *ahem* But what I wonder is if when you make a new custom race, you'll get options to modify the custom race tech tree from within the game...or if the custom race will only be using the generic tech tree unless you modify the tech tree outside of the game by tweaking the .xml?

Either way, this looks like it ought to be rather fun! And it seems fitting that the Terran Alliance and the Drengin get their new tech trees first - that way, we also get to see how these tech trees really affect battle in the new AARs produced by the resident AI expert! Boffo!
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October 5, 2007 4:50:14 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Wooooo, can't wait. So glad I pre-ordered.
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October 5, 2007 4:59:19 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Get on with this month they call October I say. It surely must have been placed there to make the year appear longer. And darn did they accomplish that.
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October 5, 2007 5:41:02 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
yes please tell us how this effects custom race!!???

will we set up there tech tree or will it it be set up already???

I play a custem race I have set up,.. I can tweak there tech tree for

them and will but, I like to know how it will be set up in TA ???

also the bigger map size will that be for just TA or will GC II 2.0

have it too ???
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October 5, 2007 5:42:03 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
It's pretty incredible how fast you guys are making TA, I mean DA hasn't even been out 9 months yet has it?
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October 5, 2007 7:23:41 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I'm in!

I will pre-order soon.
Can we get a time frame for the pre-order and will this be treated like SoasE?
"pre-order before the beta or you have to wait till the next phase?"

Later
Aaron
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October 5, 2007 9:04:46 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Aw, the beta's going to start after my Fall Break... oh well. I'll still try to make sure to find time to test it out.

Can't wait to try out these new tech trees.
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October 5, 2007 9:08:58 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
With custom races, you can choose which tech tree you want to use.
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October 5, 2007 9:10:24 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I'm in on that one   

And, did we mention...these techs are tradeable back and forth. But thanks to a new AI enhancement (a willingness to trade a particular tech variable) tech trading will become vastly more intelligent.



hum mixed fealings on that one I just hope that races won't share their specific techs too much or stop tech trading all together. Anyway can't wait to see how it all works out.
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October 5, 2007 9:13:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Twilight of the Arnor sounds fantastic - no one could say you guys don't know how to make a great game better! Is an updated manual (or modguide!) in the works?
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October 5, 2007 10:15:03 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Hey, how about some super sneak peek screen shots.
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October 5, 2007 11:05:24 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
With custom races, you can choose which tech tree you want to use.


maybe there will be a extra slot for the custom race tech tree
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October 5, 2007 11:11:51 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I was probably an inevitable pre-order customer and finally gave in a short while ago and did the clicks that cost me money. As one of the Merry Hecklers around here, I must register a complaint that could strike some of my fellow players as insane: You are setting too tight a schedule for beta releases. And, I sincerely hope this decision isn't driven by some marketing person's fascination with the great idea of unique tech trees. (Please see recent Dilbert strips re marketing)

I'm griping about the weekly update schedule because I'm a big map, long game player. During the DA beta, I had some real frustration trying to keep a game going across releases, but it was hard to get really feisty about that because I know what "beta" means in a paycheck-driven environment. The TA project incluedes options for even larger galaxies. If the Stardock devs want to offer more to my type of player, why is the beta still scheduled so that only short-game and or intense maxmizer players can hope to try for a meaningful game under a given build?
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October 5, 2007 11:37:37 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Dude Sweet. Stardock always giving so much. I can't wait for the beta! OH YA! Only problem is I have to wait for the Thalan Tech Tree, otherwise OMG YES! And I have to wait for the expansion lol. This why I preordered early so long ago. Good choice for just picking a tech tree for custom races. Also are you going to add a few more points for abilities for custom races... please, just a little..., 3-5 maybe...don't make me beg... lol. Thanks Stardock.
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October 6, 2007 12:39:47 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I presume that the beta is open to those who haven't preordered yet? I'll be buying it online anyways, but it'd be nice to know.
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October 6, 2007 1:13:46 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
i tried to pre-order a couple weeks ago and accidentally overdrew my account (i would have waited, but i didn't want to miss my chance). i'm on a monthly salary, and i'm fine now - contacted sales and asked if i should re-order or if they'd take prefer to care of it on their end, and hopefully things will be taken care of Monday. glad i didn't miss my chance - really looking forward to this.
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October 6, 2007 2:34:29 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
You are setting too tight a schedule for beta releases.


I totally agree. I am also very suspicious that you could be handing us the cheese platter here. Therefore this Beta s not only about finding the usual small bugs, but also about tweaking the game balance a lot. Tis cannot be done in a week - especially for larger maps!
Example:
So I have normal propulsion and can trade for special propulsion tech (or better yet: steal it when I conquer a planet). Well then I'll take a hyperwarp civ and add the special tech on top of that to get Uber-Warp drives.

Sounds a bit harmless for warp drives (also it might upset engine nerfing). Well, if I can do the same with my economy or other factors, I can unbalance the game in ways no AI in the world has a chance against (or are you telling me that your AI can handle something so complex as well?)

Sorry for being so pessi/realistic about this.


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October 6, 2007 7:49:49 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
You are setting too tight a schedule for beta releases.


I totally agree. I am also very suspicious that you could be handing us the cheese platter here. Therefore this Beta s not only about finding the usual small bugs, but also about tweaking the game balance a lot. Tis cannot be done in a week - especially for larger maps!
Example:
So I have normal propulsion and can trade for special propulsion tech (or better yet: steal it when I conquer a planet). Well then I'll take a hyperwarp civ and add the special tech on top of that to get Uber-Warp drives.

Sounds a bit harmless for warp drives (also it might upset engine nerfing). Well, if I can do the same with my economy or other factors, I can unbalance the game in ways no AI in the world has a chance against (or are you telling me that your AI can handle something so complex as well?)

Sorry for being so pessi/realistic about this.




Or, as has been suggested by devs in couple of threads, some techs are totally unique and can't be used by other civs?
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October 6, 2007 9:14:43 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Now this is what I call Moving to Bigger and better with a more realisting twist on the Civilization. After all not everyone can come up with he same Ideal in technologie that the other Races. Well done Guys.
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October 6, 2007 11:49:46 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I really don't understand all the critiques before the product. Some people take weeks if not months to play on very large maps now. I personally don't want to wait for them to proceed with the betas (or is that betum?) before we continue down the path. Of course there are going to be bugs and the like in the product. Its a human endeavor afterall, but good heavens, Stardock does backflips to accomodate our requests and is constatntly tweaking and attempting to make it bettter. This is unparalled in this industry.

Thanks stardock for including us and we'll make every attempt to wring every problem out so when we finally get the release it will be as good as possible! Only problem is I already devote way too much of my life playing this game now....just couldn't do any more even if I like it better.
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October 6, 2007 12:21:36 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Stardock does backflips to accomodate our requests and is constatntly tweaking and attempting to make it bettter. This is unparalled in this industry.


i agree here. while a week to test 3 new tech trees and attempt to achieve 'balance' probably won't happen, it should be time to catch glaring problems. despite the excitement, the beta-testing group will not be able to provide enough feedback no matter what. every best tester needn't try out every tech tree for SD to benefit from the public test - a few players responding to the terran tree, while a few others to the drengin, etc, might actually be better for them, rather than sifting through dozens upon dozens of game accounts per civ.

keep in mind balance isn't simply something you can figure out by testing each civ's tech tree on a game or two. it'll only occur after months of playing across (or many) all the permutations offered by the new tech trees. we might find, for example, that trading a certain tech is harmelss except to another particular player.

the issue of balance is also somewhat subjective. no matter how much tweaking is done, i think it's obvious that some people will desire different changes at some times.

finally, getting this thing released sooner rather than later will help provide SD more funding to continue working on it, balancing it and improving it. getting it out there sooner, rather than later, will help provide some of the resources they need to continue improving it for everyone.

i don't personally view beta testing for a new game simply as a chance to 'take months to play through a game.' i'm actively looking for holes and problems, not trying to win and achieve a great score (not as a first goal, anyway).

well, just my two cents anyway.
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October 6, 2007 12:22:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
is it possible for you guys to create a primitive "hive" tech tree? Kind of like to torians, but kind of like thalans. (Like the Zerg from Starcraft) Or are the tech trees user friendly and we can make our own?

Second suggestion: Add the option to make a race not be able to have diplomacy. I know the dreadlords have this feature, I would like it to be expanded to custom races.
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October 6, 2007 12:26:28 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Or are the tech trees user friendly and we can make our own?


my guess is they will be totally mod-able - at least, i'm hoping they will.
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October 6, 2007 2:25:01 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Sounds great, however the pre-order page doesn't seem to let me pre order the game with the tokens I bought through total gaming. Hopefully I am just temporarily blind when I try to pre-order, otherwise I would feel a bit duped sitting here with $69 worth of useless tokens.
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