So, getting back into GC4 @ patch 0.81 I've wanted to run a game into mid-game with all of the races and write some impressions. I've actually played a lot of games MP, but I don't feel like these necessarily give solid impressions as they're very skewed playing experiences with the currently available MP formats. So these impressions are for only the limited SP playtime I've acquired since 0.81 was released.
Of note I play on "very slow" pacing, and "very slow" tech pacing.
The Krynn into early mid-game actually feel pretty good, and actually feel like I'm playing Krynn. I believe my Kryseth influence push got >150 very early into the game, which is pretty solid. I'd like the pursue this game into late game and see how the push from multiple core-worlds goes. In GC3 I recall late game influence push attainable from every world being ~100+ with building the core Krynn-specific colony influence improvements with the addition of an embassy perhaps. I'm curious if the Krynn actually continue this trajectory in GC4 into the late game.
Additionally, I'm curious if the Krynn are viable influence-pushers with a build-tall strat. Or if they are pigeon-holed into be required to build wide for influence improvements. I'm going to make another "build tall vs wide" post I think about the issues surrounding this dynamic, since it'll probably get a lot more traffic than this one, and the issues are fundamentally different.
I LOVE the multi-cultural aspects of the Krynn "race", assuming different racial base stats for leaders, etc (I noticed a very nice diversity of citizen stats and needs) this potentially allows for a specialized citizen/leadership pool reflective of a diverse society providing strength. Of note, your Festron citizens ruin this however.
One "go big or go home" tweak that I'd consider for the Krynn as a unique racial ability to culture flip enemy starbases. It would make the Krynn a whole new world of annoying and would be thematically very appropriate.
A minor tweak. The Krynn need a "no eating other people" mechanic. Either a policy that gives useful Krynn stuff + "no eating other citizens", or just that in Krynn society Festron don't 'do their thing'. I prefer the 1st solution. But there needs to be a solution to this because what's the point of being multiracial if everyone gets transformed into Festron by turn xyz?
But all and all I felt that the Krynn feel good, with a solid and enjoyable play experience. Back in the GC2 days I hated playing the Krynn and thought they were kind of lame. But this eventually evolved into the Krynn being one of my favorite races (Drengin, Korath, Yor, and (!!!) Snathi (!!!) being some of my other favs to give some perspective on my play tendencies). I've found the Krynn to be one of the ultimate 'paper tiger' factions. So I'm glad the Krynn still feel like they have this vibe, at least at this point earlier game in 0.81. !!
The Xeloxi are obviously a new faction, so it's not like I have any prior opinions to judge them by. I love the idea for the faction - a faction completely of Australians criminals. One of my old suggestions in GC3 was some sort of a "Pirate Diplomacy" tech tree that ranged from pirates that stop attacking you, on the low end of the tree; to pirate economics (trading with pirates) on the mid section; and pirates as mercs and enemy SB conquerors on the high end. So It's cool to see a faction cut of this cloth make its way into GC4.
With only a couple of hundred turns on slow pacing under my belt, I wasn't able to get too much into the various crime-enhancements, or even see what they were. But the idea sounds very compelling. Additionally I like the mechanic whereby the Xeloxi sort of spread crime via interactions with other races (trade, etc).
Also, there needs to be a mission where Captain James T Kirk attempts to sleep with a green criminal alien. (I'm kidding, I hate Star Trek).
the Xeloxi pirate neutrality ability is VERY underwelming. It's not really anything more than being merely convenient. And unless the galaxy is set up with high-pirate settings, it's really not handy at all.
Go big or go home! - my tweaks:
- No neutral factions attack Xeloxi (Pirates, Monsters, Justicars (or whatever those red assholes are called)). Xeloxi are native creatures of the darkness and don't elicit the ire of other fauna. (I would still make the Xeloxi be able to attack monsters/justicars, just not pirates).
- New pirate bases spontaneously arise within the Xeloxi zone of influence.
- Buff pirates in the Xeloxi zone of influence. Increasing buffs could be unlocked via policy/tech
- Enemies who attack pirates in Xeloxi zone of influence are also declaring war on Xeloxi (in effect these pirates are allowed to sort of proliferate and get stronger and stronger, since enemy AI are usually much more hesitant to start a war than to clean out pirates)
- Xeloxi need executive orders to buff pirates ('pimpify pirate base', 'found new pirate base' etc)
- Pirates in Xeloxi zone of influence get some % scavenge ability (a distribution of these scavenged ships could be pirate or Xeloxi).
- Give Xeloxi a ship command to "Designate Free Agent" which permanently transforms said ship into a pirate faction ship (a great way to reinforce the pirates and get rid of xeloxi's old crap).
- Pirate bases within the Xeloxi zone of influence produce Xeloxi influence.
The goal with the above is to actually make the Xeloxi obviously annoying rogue elements in the galaxy. By the end of the game, areas that the Xeloxi control should be overrun by pirates and treacherous for other factions to function in. The Xeloxi are a pirate faction, winning the game with them should therefore mean that the galaxy is completely overrun by pirates! The above changes would accomplish this.
One side-note. The 3rd level Ideology ability that all races can get that stop pirates from attacking them should be removed. Pirate neutrality should be specific to the Xeloxi. Pirate neutrality, however, should be acquirable via the diplomacy system, and the price of neutrality should be related to the dynamics of power & force that underlie the alien-alien diplomacy.
Thus the Xeloxi counterplay would be: build up big fleets and blow them and the pirates up (Drengin, Yor, etc); Influence push to make the Xeloxi's pimp pirates zoc very small (Krynn, Terran, etc); hold them off via diplomacy (Terran, Iridium). So this would make the Xeloxi an interesting faction to both play, and play against.
Thanks for reading, would obviously love to hear any comments/etc on the above!
GC4 is coming along well!