So I put in 1136.9 hours into GalCiv 3 which takes #2 on my Steam list...a mmo is #1. GalCiv 2 would probably second but this was pre-Impulse and pre-Steam for me. I have had GalCiv 4 since beta, but really didn't have any time due to IRL to play this. Also, every time I tried to get into it I very quickly bounced to GalCiv3. Then I forgot about it.
However, this weekend I made a point to get into it and it is really growing on me. However, I have a bit of feedback I'd like to share. I always start with the bad first.
Don't lock yourselves into exclusive access deals
I legit forgot about GalCiv4 since it wasn't on my Steam. At this point your good name has been out there for some time. I'm not sure why you'd lock into a deal with EPIC. I'll be honest, I don't know anything about how games are published, but some people really don't like EPIC. Then again same could be said about [insert game platform here], so I wont drag this point on. I'm sure at this point there is a period of time before this will eventually go on Steam. Please do so.
BTW for those that really hate the EPIC (raises hand due to clumsy interface) things like GOG and Razer Cortex will link to most gaming platforms so you have one spot...although for some reason GalCiv 4 wants to launch twice with one of those.
This game needs a manual, and maybe a Galactapedia
I probably went 50 turns on my first playthrough before I found the districts option. This legit made me bounce off for a while. The tutorial is kinda meh. The dev diaries I imagine are pretty good but once the game is out it's probably not the place most people look. I prefer reading manuals on a Kindle because I'm old and remember when this was a thing. Wiki's typically aren't very well organized unless your Paradox, the Minecraft wiki, Bulbapedia, and maybe Terraria. But the main reason is manuals are great when your flying for work as often as I do. The GalCiv 3 manual was very good.
Couple things I found out a bit late however.
* non-core colonies can be upgraded.
* districts are a thing you don't see unless you happen to click on an empty tile...which is not intuitive for those of us that drag an drop. I do like the system.
* clicking citizens allows you to assign them jobs.
These a very informative. I think a tooltip explaining the balance of power contributions would be nice.
Once you actually find it, there is a lot of things to tinker with that I like. As said earlier, I had no idea that districts were in the game. Finally population seems to matter, although talk against the empire and you're getting shipped to a remote starbase. I'm now starting to see that leaders are more than just numbers with their stories.
The UI and game screens look beautiful. Although, in some ways I prefer seeing more of the planets like in GalCiv3. I know the texture map probably influences which tiles are available.
I'm liking the new mechanics...though they are so different. I'm spending hours figuring out how I want to layout my planets and each new one is a new puzzle. Approval finally really matters. I know they did in other games but this one more so. I do think leaders and citizens need to be merged so you're promoting your citizens into leaders. I'm digging the inputs > outputs method thats was done now. Drengi is just a hell hole right now with pollution and crime...oh I can imprison the dissenters and they can work in labor camps. Muhahaha.
My wife is very worried when I explain to her what I'm doing in game. Although she is playing Rimworld, so yeah.
I'm only 18 hours in and most of that I wouldn't say was very productive, but after this weekend I'm very interested in diving deep into this. I like to finally see some changes to 4x gaming besides MoM and MOO clones. Not shocking that its coming from Stardock which is why I put so much time into previous titles. Good job I'm hoping to see further updates and DLC in the future (on Steam *cough cough* )