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Worth buying?

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by gedet, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. gedet

    gedet Chieftain

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    I have never really been into sci fi, but I am a fan of Civ, and a lot of people say this game is amazing. Is it still worth buying?
     
  2. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    Plenty of gamers still play SMAC, so that says something for a 12-year-old game.

    You can download the game from gog.com for $5.99. If that's too expensive, you can download the free demo from Firaxis, which allows you to play 100 turns. Give it a go and see what you think. Plenty of help is available on this forum, if you like.
     
  3. gedet

    gedet Chieftain

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    How steep is the learning curve?
     
  4. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    Having played Civ, you'll be ahead of the curve. Most of the basic concepts are the same, just different terminology. You use Colony Pods (instead of settlers) to found bases (instead of cities). You use Terraformers (instead of workers) to improve tiles. Instead of wonders, you build Secret Projects, and so on. Weapons terminology takes getting used to. It's not intuitive that Shard weapons are better than Impact weapons, for example. The tech tree also may prove puzzling, at first. The game comes with basic tutorials and you can automate almost everything while you're getting the hang of it.
     
  5. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    As a Civ fan, some things will seem familiar. However, SMAC is a lot more "expansive." The designers of SMAC had designed Civ 2 and "pushed the envelope" in SMAC. This includes the unit workshop, which allows players to customize units, extreme terraforming and psionic combat in addition to conventional combat.
     
  6. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    I am thinking of getting it again (I lost the disk years ago.) Is it worth it at all to get the expansion, or should I not bother?
     
  7. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    You can get the vanilla game from Good Old Games for $5.99 (as a download) or get both games (published by Sold Out Software) on discs from Amazon. Players are divided whether or not the expansion adds value to the original game. Personally, I've played nothing but the expansion since it came out. Let me know if you decide to go with the Sold Out version, since there are some subtleties with the installation.
     
  8. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Okay, Amazon had the complete set for less that $10 total, after S&H. So I got the expansion . . . of course, the downside is that rather than being able to play tonight I have to wait 3 weeks for them to ship it over from the UK, by which time I am sure I will have forgotten why I wanted to play it so much.

    Anyways, if I have installation issues I will let you know . . .
     
  9. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

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    Annoying international shipping. :( We need magtubes!
     
  10. Son of Erdrick

    Son of Erdrick Chieftain

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    I am more surprised there is not digital storefront for Alpha Centauri! Really, it's a classic and I would buy it again just to have a digital backup.
     
  11. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

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    Seriously, are the last set of posters completely moronic? If not why we getting posts about paying $10 from Amazon, digital frontshops and International shipping?

    As Petek posted (twice now in this thread alone) you can get it off "Good Old Games" as a digital download - what part of this is causing you difficulty?

    Don't bother with SMAC guys, stick with something simple, like tic-tac-toe.
     
  12. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    Because GoG doesn't offer the expansion SMAX, which for those in the know is where its at.

    Absolutely! The depth, the complexity are awesome! And if you get tired of the base game theres plenty of mods and scenarios to play.

    D
     
  13. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

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    Why would anyone recommend SMAX?

    The expansion brought very little to the table beyond a few silly factions that could have been easily modded in.

    I simply don't understand those people that played SMAC and abandoned it for SMAX. Also I have nothing but contempt for those that like the Pirate faction and increasing (even further) the productivity of sea-tiles.

    SMAX was a rip-off and a massive missed opportunity for making SMAC awesome.
     
  14. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    I am pretty dumb - for instance, I decided to purchase something that you personally don't like, and didn't even consult you first.
     
  15. MHaruspex

    MHaruspex Chieftain

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    At the risk of going off-topic, I also don't believe SMAX is worth getting.

    The original 7 factions were all based on ideologies that people legitimately believe in (maybe not the Spartans so much - the game doesn't really delve into their ideology and I figure they just needed some sort of gung-ho military faction because every 4X game has one of those). Of the new 5 human factions, the only one I can honestly say fits that description is the Free Drone faction - but even then, it's not led by someone who'd realistically be in charge given the backstory with the Unity and whatnot. And Pirates, yeah - why would a fifth of the people landing on Planet essentially decide, "Alright bros, boats. Boats are how we rebuild civilization." The aliens didn't really have much of purpose - the focus of the game was supposed to be on human interaction with Planet and each other, anyway, which has nothing to do with a third, alien, party.

    In terms of gameplay, you'd get bizzare things like Spore Launchers sitting on Isles of the Deep and bombarding your bases, forcing you to build boats when you'd otherwise have no reason to. Or the Battle Ogres in pods - whichever faction finds one first just ends up way ahead. Simply put, there was too much randomness involved. I've put sincere effort into liking SMAX (so I could run the game in something other than 1024x768), but even with the technical benefits of it I can't bring myself to play it over the original SMAC. And this isn't a nostalgia thing for the original SMAC or anything, I got both games at once.

    SMAC, though, is a definite must-play. I don't even like the Civilization franchise much, but I'd easily rank SMAC in my top 3 games. Brian Reynolds' philosophy degree really shines through the whole game.
     
  16. TrailblazingScot

    TrailblazingScot I was kittenOFchaos

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    A good response :)

    Thanks also to MHaruspex for your post. You posted what I wanted to say, but I was too busy frothing at the mouth in my rabid dislike of SMAX.

    You want to know why 'Good Old Games' sells SMAC but not SMAX? The clue is in the name!
     
  17. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

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    The expansion is a lot more mod friendly, which is probably why I ended up sticking with it (I am a bit of a modder ;)). If you don't like Battle Ogres/Spore Launchers, you can always do what I did and remove them.
     
  18. The_Quasar

    The_Quasar King

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    Sure it's worth buying... it's a great game!

    The advantage of buying it with the expansion is that you can then make up your own mind whether the expansion is worth it... personally, I play both, I like the game, and the extra civs are, imho, worth having (even if there is little difference in the game).

    Btw, both are available from Amazon, at present, for £4.54
     
  19. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    At the very least, I can always choose the pirates as one of the other factions on a land-heavy map and make it that much easier . . .
     
  20. Aabraxan

    Aabraxan Mid-level Micromanager

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    I've never played SMAX, but I will vouch for SMAC as being purchase-worthy.
     

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