Alright, having finished now my third game with the TA Altarians I thought I would give a little feedback and report some of the oddities I found:
- Stellar Cartography NOT in starting tech? Thought it was only the primitive humans that grew up in the dark. Bug or by design?
- Enhanced Defenses - says TODO under the description, and for the life of me I didn't see that this tech did anything if researched. I assume this is just under construction with more to come.
- A history of benevolence - wow, this is one of the best tech descriptions in the whole game and sure is hard to find. This tech starts out researched and you have to kind of hunt around in the tech tree to find it anyway, but unlike, say the short Korath "A history of ruthlessness", the Altarians "benevolence" starting tech says plenty. Supposed to be a bit of an easter egg?
- And, why adhere to the history of benevolance for however many years when you can research Dark Energy Research? Fun for the Drath, it feels more vital for the Altarians with their starting stats. Probably my favorite tech/building to finally get on a planet with this race.
- Go Mysticism! Who knew mystics were always so mean?
- Shrine of Mithrilar still rules but...
- Are the Altarians really so unhappy? Stoic? I only found a total +20% morale in their whole tech tree, and the best morale building I found (outside of the one-shot Mithrilar puppy) was healing pools at a paltry +18%. They used to have a BASE +20% morale as a race and were one of the easiest populations to keep happy. Suddenly they are sad...
- Are all starbase mobilization/projection benefits supposed to be AFTER starbase fort III in the tech trees?
- Ability Tab when buying +2 speed ability for 8 points incorrectly shows speed as +12 (should be +3 if consistent with other races) while the overview tab correctly shows this as +30% speed.
- several techs that work still have TODO in the description. By design.
- Social Matrix, this one confused me. The +25% social bonus APPEARED to apply to both the civilization level AND to the planet level, while the econ bonus applied only to the planet level. Is this working as intended?
- This (above) was hard to test as well because total social production bonus value does not display on the planetary summary screen. If you click on the Summary tab, at the bottom where you get "Planetary Improvement Totals", Social bonus appears as "Social Production Bon..." with no value displayed and no value on mouse over either. All the other bonuses have shorter names and correctly display. This may be a long time issue that I never noticed before. In any case, would be nice if I could see the total social production bonus total that applies to a planet.
- I have never wanted gravity accelerators more with a race! Vroom Vroom.
- Really? No additional buildings for going evil? Doesn't that hurt the Super Organizer ability more than a tad? I assume this is by design... still (humph).
- While I really miss losing the +20% morale and +30% econ bonuses, that speed boost instead is so nice. Apparently going really fast makes you more stern as a race. Coupled with the fact that they forgot how to entertain themselves and the Altarians are a bit of a different animal than before.
But lets face it, speed kills. I LOVE love love the new Altarians. The extra speed boost allows me to save space on my ships giving me more space for weapons. Added to the mysticism benefits and suddenly I have good attack craft with all of the tactical flexibility I love. Colony rushes rule! Early survey ships rule! Tiny planetary defenders with no engines and just guns can still have 9! movement (requires trade goods). Freighters can be built cheaper and just loaded up with range modules. It goes on and on and on.
While strangely the Altarian race has gotten kind of depressed in the future, I have never been happier playing them. Speed + research = death and doom for the rest of the galaxy. I mean, I had my 25 move troop transports back. That is just so sexy.
Yeah, I said it, sexy!