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Endless Legend

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Seek, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Umbral Reaver

    Umbral Reaver Secret Wizard

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    I picked it up cheap in the Steam Sale. It's okay, I guess, but after playing Age of Wonders 3 it seems really empty and bland.
     
  2. Noob

    Noob Chieftain

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    Dang. I was stuck in between those two on the steam store today to tell the truth. Age of Wonders seems like it's a lot more role playing. The strategy really revolves around the battles mainly from what I can see. I could be wrong though I've never played it. I'm not knocking it either it looks fun as sh*t. I will be picking that up for sure sometime too down the line.
     
  3. Mutineer

    Mutineer Deity

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    I like endless legend, game have some problems, but otherwise fun with a lost of different strats avalible/needed.
     
  4. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    Endless Legend is quite similiar to BE in regards of "design problems".

    I opted into the early beta and the game has certainly improved, but some fundamental design problems are still present (combat system, region system, tech tree, irrelvance of terrain, tech tree options, visually cluttered map, luxury requiring activation, etc).

    I consider it a decent game, EL falls short on its real potential, much like the previous game Endless Space (which I actually like a lot more) and BE.
     
  5. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Just a reminder that this is the Civ BE forum. Discussion of other games belongs in the All Other Games forum. Thread moved.
     
  6. scheva007

    scheva007 Prince

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    Bought it in the steam sale yes, havent given it a try. But im quite bored of civ v, and BE didnt have enough of a discount
     
  7. Wizard-Bob

    Wizard-Bob Always remember to Find Your FUN!

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    I played through the tutorial and like the premise. I'm looking forward to a few plays to see if the different factions really play as different from one another as it seems. If so, it should offer some interesting FUN :)
     
  8. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Sorry, I should have merged this with the existing Endless Legend thread. Threads merged.
     
  9. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    This was exactly my experience.

    (Very much enjoying Dungeon of the Endless currently, however!)
     
  10. scheva007

    scheva007 Prince

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    Combat looks quite unwieldly and confusing indeed, luckily there is an autoresolve.

    When do you best build boroughs? as soon as the pop hits? or later? I've neglected them a bit and now the AI cities seem quite big
     
  11. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I was interested in it following reviews but not interested enough to buy, but I got it for Christmas. I haven't given it an in-depth look yet, but early impressions are that it overcomes a big failing of both Endless Space and Beyond Earth, in that its world has a lot of character, and it does seem to offer a little more depth than ES. However, to elaborate on the issues GAGA mentions:

    Combat system: It's cute the first few times through, but every battle turning into a 6-turn - often indecisive - hex map battle is a grind, and there's really no justification for it. Terrain effects are marginal and tactics beyond 'concentrate fire' nonexistent. Amplitude seem to love FB games; Endless Space had a combat system that resembled Facebook card games; this one is the spawn of games with names like Galaxy Storm, where you have a few generic unit types and throw them at each other in slow turn-based shootouts.

    Region system: This was a draw in terms of its apparent novelty in the descriptions and reviews I read, but I have to agree it seems mishandled. Region boundaries are arbitrarily pre-defined and amount to a fixed set of hexes akin to an oversized city radius without (initially) a city. The way the region system interacts with the over-abundant minor settlements (a nice idea that's a nod to games like Birth of the Federation from years past) actually hampers exploration, since there's not a lot of point moving much beyond your borders until you have another settler.

    The basic concept of an area over which you exert cultural control and can extract resources more widely than the immediate environs of the city is good, but handling it by arbitrarily delineating the area where you can place open-pit mines for luxuries (because this is a world where you use open pit mines to extract wine but can't use them to get at minerals) and adding a 'no one else gets to settle here' mechanic is poor, and it does end up making terrain essentially meaningless.

    3. The tech tree is drastically oversimplified compared with most games of this nature; once you have a set number of techs in one tier you can move to the next a la Civ III, however there is no tech structuring - you can just pick and choose whatever you happen to find useful.

    4. This is a shame but seems true. Tile yields are low except for bonus resources ("anomalies"), and like Endless Space building yields are high, so what you build matters a lot more than where you settle. There's no real system of tile improvement except for 'borough streets' that become available to expand the area the city can work directly as well as boosting production on their tiles (this is such a welcome idea, it's a real shame it's part of a system that makes that very bonus nearly meaningless), and few buildings care about the identity of surrounding tiles (a few have effects that trigger only on tiles that produce science, or on industry etc., but most basic tile types produce one of each resource).

    5. Yes, there's a thematically senseless 'booster' system which again appears to owe its inspiration more to Facebook daily grinds than to similar strategy games - once you start extracting a resource, it does nothing until you hit a threshold when you can 'activate' it for a temporary boost.

    EDIT: Played a longer session, which confirmed all of the above. It's a shame because, completely unlike Endless Space, there's a lot of character to the world and factions (even if they don't play very differently in principle, they have story quests which promote different strategies) - clearly Amplitude have learned from the characterlessness of Endless Space. But as for the game, it's not that it's bad, there's just practically nothing to do. Population assignment is occasional, expansion is slow and limited because of the 'one city per region' rule, there's nothing to do in cities except queue production, and you probably aren't going to have more than a couple of stacks roaming the map at any given time. So there is a lot of clicking 'next turn' and doing nothing else - this is not the game for Civ IV fans who complained Civ V production was too slow, to be sure.
     
  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Thought to revisit the thread as I revisited the game after a couple of patches and expansions, and was a bit surprised that the last comment on it was one of mine from shortly after release.

    Any further impressions? On functional grounds I think most of the above still stands - gameplay is very simple. Moreover the game seems actively designed to be hostile to the AI, with much of the game revolving around quests that the AI either doesn't receive or is incapable of pursuing/achieving, and the modular unit design system. It's even had a small expansion that, being based around more quests and further combat units that hamper the AI's already poor combat ability, seems designed deliberately to give the player extra advantages over the AI. The AI compounds this with its weak behaviour, and the lack of structured tech progression offers it no guidance on correct tech orders. There doesn't seem very much opportunity to vary overall strategy, and all victory conditions except domination are just 'get a total X of resource Y'; as all resources are gathered in precisely the same way, this is just a question of putting population in one box rather than another.

    All that having been said, I'm thoroughly enjoying the game 184 turns in on my first full session. I'd question its replayability once you've tried each faction, but it's an extremely good game for flavour and, while its storytelling is a little thin, it certainly makes up in quantity what it may lack in quality (though occasionally immersion will be broken by getting the same minor quest more than once). If you want a 4x more for worldbuilding and roleplaying and don't mind the lack of challenge or variety, this is definitely a game to look into.
     
  13. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Ugh, this thread is the latest in a lot of evidence for me that most players become fans of increasingly more specific and limited gaming conventions.

    EL is a great game that should appeal to 4X players who have a wider taste than only Civ. Many of the features being moaned about here are in fact good and implemented well when taken in their context, its just they're different from Civ and so therefore "Wrong".
     
  14. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    So I've played this game a fair bit and I like it a lot.

    The setting is refreshingly original and has a significant effect on game play. The winter mechanic is pretty neat. The quests are also cool.

    City building has some interesting aspects, like how when districts are built on the city you get a significant happiness plenty but also get a significant production boost. Maintaining happiness is an interesting thing as there are a variety of ways to do so each of which often ends up taking a resource away from something that would be useful elsewhere so you have a constant push-pull between keeping your cities happy and keeping them productive.

    The combat system is... different...
    I like tactical combat and I espically like how the strategic choices you make affect tactical combat. The choice to use the strategic map in tactical combat was truly inspired and makes where you get into a fight much more interesting than giving a 1/4 boost for being on a hill. The ability to outfit your units with specific equipment is also inspired. The reinforcement and siege systems are great. However, the system of giving vague general directions to your units who may then go and do their own thing anyway is a bit of a pain; the game is so close to just letting you direct units I'm not sure why they choose to do it the way they did.

    The individual civs play differently enough to be refreshing each new game.

    The tech tree is good, but short of greatness. There are few tech ages that you enter into as you go through the game by researching enough tech. Not every tech in the prior level is required, which makes it seem like the tech for each game can be a bit different. That's partly an illusion though as there are a number of techs that seem basically mandatory.

    Overall, I recommend it, particularly if you like fantasy 4X games. I would say it is better than Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes, on par with Age of Wonders III, but still inferior to FFH2 (but FFH2, particularly with mod-mods, has benefited not only from the quality of Civ 4, but also many years of additional iteration).

    So if you like fantasy 4X games and want to try a setting different from your typical elves and dwarves, I would pick it up.

    @PhilBowles: I've noticed improvements from patches in enemy AI as they pertain to the quests and in flavor from the DLC they've released. That said, I think you may be giving it short shrift in terms of the city aspect. Many techs give the either a building that boosts worker production or one that boosts hex production. So you can either get something that, say, gives plus one cog (read: hammer) per cog worker or something that gives one cog per hex around you city. That can lead to an interesting dynamic of deciding whether you want your cogs to come from workers or hexes. However, I think the game could have been made more interesting still by doubling down on making that distinction more clear.
     
  15. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    I really like how the combat system only allows you to set orders that may or may not be capable of being followed. It forces interesting decisions on every unit in the last half of the turn order of whether to issue a specific order that may fail, or to set a general stance of offensive/defensive that may result in something suboptimal or unpredictable.
     
  16. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    A number are implemented well for what they are, and some (like the unstructured tech tree) might be defensible on this ground (although I'm not the only one to have observed very poor balancing between tech options, so it's highly questionable that this is 'well-implemented').

    But plenty are simply misjudged for what wants to be a hybrid between a 4x and a quest-driven RPG and is fundamentally far more successful as the latter than the former. Yes, as the game's developed the quest system has got better at pushing 'eXploration' outside your immediate home regions, especially the DLC quests with specific objective sites.

    But this is still a 4x that appears to be short several 'x's - there's little expansion due to the province system and the lack of any practical need to conquer (again, save when prompted by quest objectives), and exploitation is the game's weakest aspect. EL is a good game, but it quite probably shouldn't have been marketed as a 4x - since while it sticks to a lot of 4x formulas, its emphasis on scripted storytelling and combat over emergent relationships, diplomacy (which in any functional sense is essentially nonexistent, although the obligatory standard trade screen and list of options is there) and varied strategy is probably not best-targeted at a 4x crowd looking for something different from Civ. Sure it's different from Civ, but more in the way Baldur's Gate is different from Civ than in the way Master of Orion is.

    I love tactical combat in games suited for tactical combat, and equipping units in games suited for equipping units. Endless Legend does a better job in the latter regard than the makework unit design workshops of games like Endless Space and Alpha Centauri, but each unit has so few core options (typically only anti-infantry vs. anti-ranged or anti-cavalry, depending on unit, with an associated higher damage vs. higher initiative trade-off), so many +1 upgrade versions of each, and so few unique abilities outside quest items (which are perhaps a little too rare) that it still devolves into building to a formula, and the precise decisions you make don't seem to have any particularly dramatic effect on the actual tactical gameplay - nothing at the level of choosing missile-focused vs. beam-focused strategies in Master of Orion, for instance.

    And while tactical combat is fun, and the way units aren't pulled from a set tech tree but will vary depending on the villages you subdue is something I genuinely would call inspired, it doesn't actually lead to very varied outcomes - if you're strongly disfavoured, unless you can run around the small map avoiding getting hit for 6 rounds, you're going to lose. Choosing to concentrate fire, gang up melee units on an enemy, or attack from high ground or a wood (the only terrain effects in the game) are all things you can do equally well with Civ IV stacks or Civ V 1UPT, and the results you get will essentially be the same (though if anything Civ V allows tactics to have a more important effect on the outcome of battles).

    That seems to be a Civ mentality that doesn't really apply - in EL you never have or need many cities and you don't seem to gain anything in particular from specialising, plus you can buy things with dust easily enough. Unless you're struggling to cover maintenance costs (since otherwise dust only seems particularly useful for bulk-buying science boosts later in the game), there aren't any obvious reasons not to build everything everywhere that I've encountered. If building vs. hex production is intended to be a strategic choice, it seems very poorly-balanced - since the winter mechanic, which affects only hex production, means that (unless you have techs or race attributes that ignore or strongly mitigate its effects) building production will always be superior, especially as most starts I've seen have rather low-yield terrain in most parts of most provinces.
     
  17. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Yeah, this is what I'm talking about. If you're not expanding and exploiting, then you're playing the game wrong, and your preconceptions as formed by other 4Xs are getting in your way.

    Try turning the difficulty up so you actually have to act a bit to secure a win condition?
     
  18. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    The problem isn't necessarily about the need to expand, but about what you do when you aren't expanding. PhilBowles complains, with some legitimacy, that there isn't that much to do if you aren't expanding. Many projects take so long to build that you find yourself simply clicking end turn for quite some time.

    I don't totally agree, but I can see the basis from which he approaches the issue.

    I think a good solution is to reduce map size and increase the number of civs on the board. Endless Legend is not a game that gets better as it gets bigger (which I guess is another hackneyed 4Xism that Senethro is railing against).
     
  19. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    This really doesn't make sense. The "preconceptions formed by other 4Xs" are precisely of games in which expansion and exploitation are both continuous, and rewarded. Anyone approaching this game from that background would expect to play it in exactly that way ... and there really isn't the payoff for doing so, notwithstanding the slow expansion times due to rates of settler production and slow movement across the landscape.

    As for exploitation, I didn't say it wasn't there, I said it was the worst aspect of the game - as in, it's there, but it's drastically simplified and being fully automated, as another poster pointed out, leaves you with very little to do. Worse still, it isn't even approaching the issue from a different direction from, say, the Civ games - it simply takes the same formula and removes every element of player control over resource production other than building choices and assigning specialist slots.

    That's not a difference in approach, it is a literal simplification, while at the same time the gameplay doesn't really offer anything new in other areas to which to devote your time. Were it not for the fact that quests are essentially constant, there wouldn't be much to do beyond hitting Next Turn, occasionally with a break to assign a specialist or two to influence-farming from whatever they were doing before.

    The issue isn't one of challenge, it's one of basic mechanics. There simply isn't that much real estate, what there is isn't really contested since you can rely on having 3-5 empty provinces nearby you can expand into and since most provinces contain most of the core resources you need, and tile specialisation isn't significant, there's not much basis other than storytelling for conflict. While resource management is still just a matter of building wine mines and hitting booster refresh every few turns.

    Don't get me wrong, EL is a good game - by the standards of most 4xs on the market other than Civ, which has years of development experience behind it, it's probably very good - and as it is I'd rather play EL than Beyond Earth. Considering how few other games this team has made, and how massive an advance this game is over the wholly derivative and wholly characterless Endless Space, it's an impressive feat indeed. Having been cautious about EL based on having played ES (and been underwhelmed by first impressions), the game's even good enough that I've become interested in following Endless Space 2.

    There's really no reason to get defensive about criticism just because critics point out that it isn't a great game, isn't perfect, or isn't as good as the main Civ series (all of which is pretty much undeniably true).
     
  20. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    I'm sure its undeniably true on Civfanatics.

    Your complaints bear little relation to the game I played so I'm still kind of puzzled.
     

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