Originally Posted by HyperNovae
After watching that video for a bit it looks exactly like civ 5 just in space. I mean ffs it's almost exactly the same.
The video is back from the alpha and there are really big differences (for example, tiles in civ)... but the game is definitely way closer to civ V than it is sins of a solar empire.
Anyways, I do like the game (as you may have gathered), but the full release seems a little underwhelming. They've rounded out the amount of content well, but there are still a handful of really annoying bugs (at least they seem like bugs). In the half to one third of a game I've played since the release I've encountered two glitches which I don't think are excusable and are really frustrating in a sort of unfair kind of way:
Sometimes at the beginning of a turn a combat comes up and there's a countdown for it to go into auto mode - I usually go manual to be able to pick the cards played... but then you're starting the first combat and an alert for the another comes up. Except this alert is back at the galaxy view screen which is completely inaccessible during combat... so while you're watching the first one, the second combat essentially gets forced to auto-play before you can even figure out where it's happening or with who.
The other is with fleet movements - the AI player's have their turn in single player after you hit the end turn button, but they can still move unmoved ships during your turn under certain (seemingly random) circumstances. That means every so often your fleet protecting a system that you move away suddenly has an AI controlled fleet move in behind them immediately after you move them, as if the AI was waiting for your move to use up its movement points - something which I don't think a human player can do at all.
It's just a few things like that which are really frustrating. The AI doesn't seem to be the smartest (at least on normal), as they often keep many small fleets and attack you in a line instead of a mob (which does make it easier...), but that's not so much frustrating as it is just a bit dumb.
The balance feels reasonable to me, but you have to understand the way combat works for it to feel that way. Lasers get a huge power boost for a given amount of damage simply because they hit early (and with high accuracy at long ranges). Missiles really only deal damage towards the end of the round, but if your ships can hold out long enough, the damage can be massive. Kinetics are quite inaccurate, but with enough of them and at shorter ranges they can be wrecking. I don't think the battles are decided entirely by the cards, but it's easy for the entire battle to be decided by the opening phase of combat, because if the lasers knock something down before its missiles can land (for example), the damage from the missiles is negated and the fire can be focused on remaining vessels. It's a somewhat unusual combat method and it can be unpredictable even in otherwise straightforward scenarios, but if you understand that I don't think it's necessarily unbalanced.