Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'rts'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Extra Life News
    • Extra Life Updates
    • Best Practices
    • Community Content
    • Why I Extra Life
    • Fundraising
    • Contests
  • Gaming News
  • Features
  • Podcast

Discussions

  • Extra Life Discussions
    • General Extra Life Discussion
    • Local Extra Lifers
    • Fundraising Ideas
    • Live Streaming Tips & Tricks
    • Official Extra Life Stream Team Discussion
    • Extra Life JSON Code Discussion & Sharing
    • Extra Life United
    • Extra Life Q & A
  • Articles & Extra Life Announcements
    • Announcements
  • Official Extra Life Guilds
    • Guild information and Discussion
    • Canada
    • Northeastern US
    • Southeastern US
    • Central US
    • Western US
  • Gaming Discussions
    • General Gaming Discussion
  • Other Stuff
  • Denver Extra Life Guild's Recent Posts

Calendars

  • Extra Life Community Calendar
  • Extra Life Stream Team
  • Akron Guild
  • Albany Guild
  • Albuquerque Guild
  • Anchorage Guild
  • Atlanta Guild
  • Austin Guild
  • Bakersfield Guild
  • Baltimore Guild
  • Birmingham Guild
  • Boston Guild
  • Burlington Guild
  • Buffalo Guild
  • Calgary, AB Guild
  • Morgantown Guild
  • Charlottesville Guild
  • Chicago Guild
  • Cincinnati Guild
  • Cleveland Guild
  • Columbia, MO Guild
  • Columbus, OH Guild
  • Dallas Guild
  • Dayton Guild
  • Denver Guild
  • Des Moines Guild
  • Detroit Guild
  • Edmonton, AB Guild
  • Fargo-Valley City Guild
  • Fresno Guild
  • Ft. Worth Guild
  • Gainesville-Tallahassee Guild
  • Grand Rapids Guild
  • Halifax, NS Guild
  • Hamilton, ON Guild
  • Hartford Guild
  • Hershey Guild
  • Hudson Valley Guild
  • Houston Guild
  • Indianapolis Guild
  • Jacksonville Guild
  • Kansas City Guild
  • Knoxville Guild
  • Lansing Guild
  • London, ON Guild
  • Los Angeles Guild
  • Milwaukee / Madison Guild
  • Minneapolis / Twin Cities Guild
  • Montreal / Quebec City Guild
  • Nashville Guild
  • Newark Guild
  • NYC & Long Island Guild
  • Oakland / San Francisco Guild
  • Omaha Guild
  • Orange County Guild
  • Orlando Guild
  • Ottawa, ON Guild
  • Philadelphia Guild
  • Phoenix Guild
  • Pittsburgh Guild
  • Portland, OR Guild
  • Portland, ME Guild
  • Raleigh-Durham Guild
  • Richmond Guild
  • Sacramento Guild
  • Salt Lake City Guild
  • San Antonio Guild
  • San Diego Guild
  • San Juan, PR Guild
  • Saskatchewan Guild
  • Seattle Guild
  • Spokane Guild
  • Springfield-Champaign, IL Guild
  • Springfield, MA Guild
  • St. Louis Guild
  • Syracuse Guild
  • Tampa / St. Petersburg Guild
  • Toronto, ON Guild
  • Vancouver, BC Guild
  • Washington DC Guild
  • Winnipeg, MB Guild
  • Denver Extra Life Guild's Events
  • Extra Life Akron's Events

Categories

  • Broadcasting Toolkit
  • Multimedia Kit
  • Extra Life Guild Tool Kit
  • Denver Extra Life Guild's Files
  • Extra Life Akron's Files

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Hospital


Location


Why I "Extra Life"


Interests


Twitter


Instagram


Twitch


Mixer


Discord


Blizzard Battletag


Nintendo ID


PSN ID


Steam


Origin


Xbox Gamertag

Found 19 results

  1. Released almost two years ago, Stellaris introduced the world to a fantastic game that combined elements of turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, and role-playing in a unique, engaging experience. Paradox Interactive has stuck with their title throughout the years, releasing additional expansions and updates to the core game. The update that released alongside the most recent expansion, Apocalypse, completely changed the way the game is played, warranting a second look. At release, Stellaris offered three distinct modes of space traversal. Players could travel by warping to nearby systems within a certain radius of their fleets, by building wormhole generators and slipping into systems within the range of the wormholes, or via static hyperlanes between the stars. The latest updates removes all methods of travel except for hyperlanes. The decision to do this seems to have been made to enable choke points and improving the usefulness of defensive structures. Before the update, fleets could simply bypass systems with heavy defenses with relative ease. Now there are structures that can be built to hinder an enemy's progress through your space. A fortress on an inhabited world will prevent an enemy from leaving the system until they conquer the planet. This gives players precious time to move their fleets into position for a counterattack. Invading worlds works differently, too. The old way gave each planet a static fortification bonus. Once that number reached zero as a result of orbital bombardment, an invading army could very easily come in with a handful of soldiers to steamroll the defenders. The update gave defenders more of a fighting chance. Now orbital bombardment causes damage to the defending armies, which scale automatically with the population of their world (and more armies can be used to reinforce their numbers), but it doesn't diminish their effectiveness. That means you'll have to have a more powerful army and should expect to take losses if you don't have the time to bomb every single defender into dust when invading a planet. As for the meat of Stellaris' combat, the clashing of space navies, players will now run into limits on how big a single fleet can become. This sidesteps the problem in the original version that had players massing all of their fleets into one giant death ball to roll through enemy territory and the player with the bigger death ball won the day. The update breaks that death ball into several smaller balls adding to the strategic depth and satisfaction of pulling off a successful maneuver against an enemy. As a backdrop to all of this, the way empires expand might be the single biggest change to Stellaris. The old "sphere of influence" system has been ditched as many players complained it was too ambiguous and confusing. Instead, players expand their territory by building space stations in the systems they wish to claim. That station controls the system and whoever owns the station controls the system. Once an empire becomes large enough to be bordering a rival, players can go to war to claim systems from enemy territory. This massive change to the way territory works also adds to the strategies of space warfare and is bolstered by the splitting up of fleets. Players are encouraged by the various in-game systems to have multiple fleets engaging with the enemy. Perhaps one fleet spearheads the invasion of an enemy, traveling through territory as fast as possible to conquer as much as possible while another fleet is tasked with engaging the enemy fleets and another sits with the land armies, bombarding defenders in an attempt to successfully pull off a ground assault. This rework invigorated what had previously been one of the blander parts of Stellaris. Up until this point, all of these changes have been to the base Stellaris game. The Apocalypse expansion brings even more to the table. Planetary destruction stands as the main selling point of Apocalypse. As a game progresses, players will have the opportunity to undertake large research projects and construction efforts that culminate in a weapon capable of devastating entire worlds. These super weapons have no combat power on their own, but they can do quite a bit. Players can obliterate planets to bypass a lengthy invasion or test it on uninhabited worlds to access additional resources. These weapons present the opportunity for a variety of role-playing and tactical advantages. Players can use them to crack open worlds for mining, create an impenetrable, permanent shield around a world to study the inhabitants for science, wipe the minds of the population, cleanse a world of sapient life with a neutron sweep, or even instantaneously turn the creatures on the surface into cyborgs and connect them to the mechanical consciousness of your empire. A new non-player faction has been added to the game, too. Called Marauders, these factions go on raids against the various denizens of the galaxy with powerful fleets that dominate the early and mid-game. Players can pay off raids, redirect them toward other empires, hire mercenary admirals to lead their own fleets, or even hire entire an entire armada to fight under their direct command. One of the coolest aspects of the marauding factions is that there's a chance for them to become an empire in the mid-game. Paradox compared them to the tribes that united under the leadership of Genghis Khan. If such an empire forms under the leadership of a Ghengis Khan-like figure, players might have to either submit to their rule for a time or fight a mighty foe. A series of other special events populate the rule of these space warriors that all add color to the mid-game, which some players found to be a bit slow in the base Stellaris game. Empires can now also build titan-class capital ships, a new size category of vessel that had previously been restricted to powerful non-player factions known as Fallen Empires. These ships can bestow helpful auras on nearby fleets, impose penalties on enemy fleets, and possess weapons capable of destroying entire battleships in a single shot. They represent the apex of what a player can bring to bear in battle - and they feel like it. To compliment the new system where players expand their control of systems via building star bases, Paradox has included a shiny, new option in their expansion. Players are able to upgrade these into ever larger and more easily defended bastions, a feature that replaces the space fortifications previously in the base game. Apocalypse, however, opens up the possibility of building a Citadel, a colossal space station that can house powerful cannons and assist in stopping enemy fleets in their tracks. Conclusion: The new upgrade to the base game of Stellaris certainly diminishes some of the role-playing aspects inherent to it's pre-2.0 patch days, but the game overall gains a better sense of tactical weight. Building star bases everywhere to expand your borders might sound tedious on paper, but in practice it means you can focus your empire's growth in certain directions to block other empires and obtain critical resources or worlds in a sensible way. The changes to navy sizes mean that players can now break apart their powerful fleets to pursue different objectives without risking a crushing defeat. All of these feel like incredibly welcome changes to an already solid 4X strategy title. On top of that, Apocalypse stands out as a must for players who are looking to get the most out of the game. While it doesn't hold much content for the early game, players who stick through to the mid and late game will find a wealth of new options at their fingertips. New ships, colossal space weapons, towering fortresses, interesting technologies, new diplomatic opportunities - Apocalypse stands as an answer to a long list of fan requests that have been collected over the past two years. Stellaris: Apocalypse is available now on PC. View full article
  2. Jack Gardner

    Review: Stellaris: Apocalypse

    Released almost two years ago, Stellaris introduced the world to a fantastic game that combined elements of turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, and role-playing in a unique, engaging experience. Paradox Interactive has stuck with their title throughout the years, releasing additional expansions and updates to the core game. The update that released alongside the most recent expansion, Apocalypse, completely changed the way the game is played, warranting a second look. At release, Stellaris offered three distinct modes of space traversal. Players could travel by warping to nearby systems within a certain radius of their fleets, by building wormhole generators and slipping into systems within the range of the wormholes, or via static hyperlanes between the stars. The latest updates removes all methods of travel except for hyperlanes. The decision to do this seems to have been made to enable choke points and improving the usefulness of defensive structures. Before the update, fleets could simply bypass systems with heavy defenses with relative ease. Now there are structures that can be built to hinder an enemy's progress through your space. A fortress on an inhabited world will prevent an enemy from leaving the system until they conquer the planet. This gives players precious time to move their fleets into position for a counterattack. Invading worlds works differently, too. The old way gave each planet a static fortification bonus. Once that number reached zero as a result of orbital bombardment, an invading army could very easily come in with a handful of soldiers to steamroll the defenders. The update gave defenders more of a fighting chance. Now orbital bombardment causes damage to the defending armies, which scale automatically with the population of their world (and more armies can be used to reinforce their numbers), but it doesn't diminish their effectiveness. That means you'll have to have a more powerful army and should expect to take losses if you don't have the time to bomb every single defender into dust when invading a planet. As for the meat of Stellaris' combat, the clashing of space navies, players will now run into limits on how big a single fleet can become. This sidesteps the problem in the original version that had players massing all of their fleets into one giant death ball to roll through enemy territory and the player with the bigger death ball won the day. The update breaks that death ball into several smaller balls adding to the strategic depth and satisfaction of pulling off a successful maneuver against an enemy. As a backdrop to all of this, the way empires expand might be the single biggest change to Stellaris. The old "sphere of influence" system has been ditched as many players complained it was too ambiguous and confusing. Instead, players expand their territory by building space stations in the systems they wish to claim. That station controls the system and whoever owns the station controls the system. Once an empire becomes large enough to be bordering a rival, players can go to war to claim systems from enemy territory. This massive change to the way territory works also adds to the strategies of space warfare and is bolstered by the splitting up of fleets. Players are encouraged by the various in-game systems to have multiple fleets engaging with the enemy. Perhaps one fleet spearheads the invasion of an enemy, traveling through territory as fast as possible to conquer as much as possible while another fleet is tasked with engaging the enemy fleets and another sits with the land armies, bombarding defenders in an attempt to successfully pull off a ground assault. This rework invigorated what had previously been one of the blander parts of Stellaris. Up until this point, all of these changes have been to the base Stellaris game. The Apocalypse expansion brings even more to the table. Planetary destruction stands as the main selling point of Apocalypse. As a game progresses, players will have the opportunity to undertake large research projects and construction efforts that culminate in a weapon capable of devastating entire worlds. These super weapons have no combat power on their own, but they can do quite a bit. Players can obliterate planets to bypass a lengthy invasion or test it on uninhabited worlds to access additional resources. These weapons present the opportunity for a variety of role-playing and tactical advantages. Players can use them to crack open worlds for mining, create an impenetrable, permanent shield around a world to study the inhabitants for science, wipe the minds of the population, cleanse a world of sapient life with a neutron sweep, or even instantaneously turn the creatures on the surface into cyborgs and connect them to the mechanical consciousness of your empire. A new non-player faction has been added to the game, too. Called Marauders, these factions go on raids against the various denizens of the galaxy with powerful fleets that dominate the early and mid-game. Players can pay off raids, redirect them toward other empires, hire mercenary admirals to lead their own fleets, or even hire entire an entire armada to fight under their direct command. One of the coolest aspects of the marauding factions is that there's a chance for them to become an empire in the mid-game. Paradox compared them to the tribes that united under the leadership of Genghis Khan. If such an empire forms under the leadership of a Ghengis Khan-like figure, players might have to either submit to their rule for a time or fight a mighty foe. A series of other special events populate the rule of these space warriors that all add color to the mid-game, which some players found to be a bit slow in the base Stellaris game. Empires can now also build titan-class capital ships, a new size category of vessel that had previously been restricted to powerful non-player factions known as Fallen Empires. These ships can bestow helpful auras on nearby fleets, impose penalties on enemy fleets, and possess weapons capable of destroying entire battleships in a single shot. They represent the apex of what a player can bring to bear in battle - and they feel like it. To compliment the new system where players expand their control of systems via building star bases, Paradox has included a shiny, new option in their expansion. Players are able to upgrade these into ever larger and more easily defended bastions, a feature that replaces the space fortifications previously in the base game. Apocalypse, however, opens up the possibility of building a Citadel, a colossal space station that can house powerful cannons and assist in stopping enemy fleets in their tracks. Conclusion: The new upgrade to the base game of Stellaris certainly diminishes some of the role-playing aspects inherent to it's pre-2.0 patch days, but the game overall gains a better sense of tactical weight. Building star bases everywhere to expand your borders might sound tedious on paper, but in practice it means you can focus your empire's growth in certain directions to block other empires and obtain critical resources or worlds in a sensible way. The changes to navy sizes mean that players can now break apart their powerful fleets to pursue different objectives without risking a crushing defeat. All of these feel like incredibly welcome changes to an already solid 4X strategy title. On top of that, Apocalypse stands out as a must for players who are looking to get the most out of the game. While it doesn't hold much content for the early game, players who stick through to the mid and late game will find a wealth of new options at their fingertips. New ships, colossal space weapons, towering fortresses, interesting technologies, new diplomatic opportunities - Apocalypse stands as an answer to a long list of fan requests that have been collected over the past two years. Stellaris: Apocalypse is available now on PC.
  3. until
    We are the stream team MTG Brewers Spark. We specialize in Magic the Gathering content. We try and keep it clean so everyone can enjoy and watch. This is our first year working with Extra Life but have worked with other charities before. We will be doing a 2 part Event. First Saturday will be the online gaming portion. Were we will be on Magic Online playing user submitted decks and other fun things. We will be passing the down time with other fun games with users. Sunday will be our Live event. Like we do every Monday night we will be having a 12 hour+ live event. We will have many different variants of MTG being played. I hope everyone can come out hang out and spread the word! Our Stream is http://www.twitch.tv/mtgbrewersspark. See you there!
  4. There are some big What If questions throughout history that people love to hypothesize about. What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand hadn't gone off on off his motorcade route in Sarajevo? What if Stanislav Petrov had made the call? But the most pressing question you now need to see play out is ' What if World War II had been fought with giant mechs instead of tanks?' Iron Harvest, an upcoming RTS from King Art Games, sets out to explore that hypothetical scenario. The setting for the strategic mech action, referred to as 1920+, was created by Polish artist Jakub Różalski who also worked on the board game Scythe, which featured a similar aesthetic and shares the setting. In 1920+, humanity managed to perfect walking machines, large, iron contraptions capable of striding across the land. These vehicles came to permeate everyday life for convenience and the battlefield soon after. World War I still happened and a new threat works in secret across the European continent to throw it into chaos once more. Players will encounter three main factions throughout Iron Harvest. To the west lies the Saxony Empire, a wealthy, influential country whose elites resent the terms of surrender that followed World War I. They posses highly sophisticated factories that could manufacture some of the finest war machines in the world. Rusviet sits in eastern Europe. Though huge in landmass and capable of unparalleled military production, its population has been devastated by the recent war. The discontent spreads as the country's Tsar begins to lose power. A man named Grigori Rasputin seems to offer stability and hope, though it may come at the cost of a revolution. Between Saxony and Rusviet lies the Polania Republic. Largely an agricultural heartland, Polania struggles to maintain its borders with encroachments by its two neighbors. To that end, it has begin to modernize its forces in case either Rusviet or Saxony decide to overstep their bounds. Players will take control of heroes, mechs, and soldiers and make use of everything they can to accomplish mission objectives. Squads will have to use cover carefully to survive the fighting, not an easy task when environments are destructible. King Art Games says that Iron Harvest uses "open sandbox levels," so players have freedom with how they want to approach and accomplish missions across a storyline that seems like it will have some branching paths. The team intends for it to feel like a more narratively driven RTS with some influence from XCOM. King Art Games has yet to release a trailer or additional details. For now, we know that Iron Harvest has a planned release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. In the meantime, I'd encourage everyone to check out the artwork for the game by Jakub Różalski - it is absolutely gorgeous and gives a pretty clear idea for what King Art intends for the look and feel of Iron Harvest. View full article
  5. There are some big What If questions throughout history that people love to hypothesize about. What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand hadn't gone off on off his motorcade route in Sarajevo? What if Stanislav Petrov had made the call? But the most pressing question you now need to see play out is ' What if World War II had been fought with giant mechs instead of tanks?' Iron Harvest, an upcoming RTS from King Art Games, sets out to explore that hypothetical scenario. The setting for the strategic mech action, referred to as 1920+, was created by Polish artist Jakub Różalski who also worked on the board game Scythe, which featured a similar aesthetic and shares the setting. In 1920+, humanity managed to perfect walking machines, large, iron contraptions capable of striding across the land. These vehicles came to permeate everyday life for convenience and the battlefield soon after. World War I still happened and a new threat works in secret across the European continent to throw it into chaos once more. Players will encounter three main factions throughout Iron Harvest. To the west lies the Saxony Empire, a wealthy, influential country whose elites resent the terms of surrender that followed World War I. They posses highly sophisticated factories that could manufacture some of the finest war machines in the world. Rusviet sits in eastern Europe. Though huge in landmass and capable of unparalleled military production, its population has been devastated by the recent war. The discontent spreads as the country's Tsar begins to lose power. A man named Grigori Rasputin seems to offer stability and hope, though it may come at the cost of a revolution. Between Saxony and Rusviet lies the Polania Republic. Largely an agricultural heartland, Polania struggles to maintain its borders with encroachments by its two neighbors. To that end, it has begin to modernize its forces in case either Rusviet or Saxony decide to overstep their bounds. Players will take control of heroes, mechs, and soldiers and make use of everything they can to accomplish mission objectives. Squads will have to use cover carefully to survive the fighting, not an easy task when environments are destructible. King Art Games says that Iron Harvest uses "open sandbox levels," so players have freedom with how they want to approach and accomplish missions across a storyline that seems like it will have some branching paths. The team intends for it to feel like a more narratively driven RTS with some influence from XCOM. King Art Games has yet to release a trailer or additional details. For now, we know that Iron Harvest has a planned release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. In the meantime, I'd encourage everyone to check out the artwork for the game by Jakub Różalski - it is absolutely gorgeous and gives a pretty clear idea for what King Art intends for the look and feel of Iron Harvest.
  6. Something has gone wrong on the planet Meridian. The first shipload of colonists has gone missing. The leaders of United Earth have dispatched a highly skilled team to track down the vanished colonists and bring them home safely. Created by one man, Ede Tarsoly, Meridian: Squad 22 is a single-player squad RTS that features base-building and emphasizes tactical decision-making. The sequel to 2014's Meridian: New World, Squad 22 features a story mode that spans over 10 hours, a planetary conquest mode that takes place across one hundred worlds, and a story that Tarsoly promises will hang on the tactical choices players make during combat. Meridian: Squad 22 releases into Steam Early Access on June 2. The developer claims that the time spent in Early Access will be spent working out bugs and balancing the combat. It's estimated that Squad 22 will clear Early Access in a little over three months. The main campaign will also be in the process of testing and may be unavailable at Early Access launch.
  7. Something has gone wrong on the planet Meridian. The first shipload of colonists has gone missing. The leaders of United Earth have dispatched a highly skilled team to track down the vanished colonists and bring them home safely. Created by one man, Ede Tarsoly, Meridian: Squad 22 is a single-player squad RTS that features base-building and emphasizes tactical decision-making. The sequel to 2014's Meridian: New World, Squad 22 features a story mode that spans over 10 hours, a planetary conquest mode that takes place across one hundred worlds, and a story that Tarsoly promises will hang on the tactical choices players make during combat. Meridian: Squad 22 releases into Steam Early Access on June 2. The developer claims that the time spent in Early Access will be spent working out bugs and balancing the combat. It's estimated that Squad 22 will clear Early Access in a little over three months. The main campaign will also be in the process of testing and may be unavailable at Early Access launch. View full article
  8. Jack Gardner

    Feature: Review: Stellaris

    With the advent of faster than light travel, the void of space suddenly seemed to teem with life. Human, alien, synthetic, and organisms that defy classification found new homes in the cosmos. Players step in to lead an empire at the dawn of an exciting new era as creatures of all kinds reach for the stars. What awaits in the cold vacuum of space and the worlds orbiting foreign stars? Only those bold enough to go forth into the unknown can tell. Stellaris, though ultimately flawed in a number of ways, might just be the best 4X game of the last few years. Breaking free of more traditional turn-based shackles, Stellaris presents players with a fluid real-time strategy system. Within that real-time framework, the title asks players to manage an every expanding empire. Players will need to choose their priorities and balance the need to develop planets and galactic infrastructure against building a deadly fleet to defend their people against the various threats that they will encounter in the galaxy. Now, as one might imagine, there is a fair amount of micromanaging that can become too much once an empire gets too big. Developer Paradox understood the need to simplify the micromanagement and implemented a sector system. Once an empire has hit a certain size, it can begin sectioning off portions of the empire into sectors, autonomous regions that manage themselves and send the player resources. While this significantly streamlines play, especially during the late game, the overall pace of Stellaris seems a bit off. It can occasionally turn between everything happening very quickly to long stretches of waiting. Paradox does provide game speed options, but even on the fastest setting common activities like ship building or research seem to take long periods of time to finish. Players choose from a handful of pre-made spacefaring races or create their own, customizing everything from their people’s philosophy and system of government to their genetic dispositions. From there, every game presents its own challenges. Each galaxy that a player loads into is randomized with different races and events. This element of unpredictability leads to a kind of emergent history for the various fictional factions that make up each galaxy. For example, in one of my campaigns I created a race of snout-toting mammals called the Sneeb, religious zealots in a military dictatorship that lived to be over 200 years old. Early on in the game, my defensive space fleet was caught out by a neighboring empire and destroyed, leaving me at the mercy of their armada. My enemies then bombarded my planet from orbit for almost a century. However, they lacked the armies to successfully invade on foot and my people live for so long that the population being bombarded simply waited for the enemy government officials to die of old age and end the war. Random events can also be encountered in the vastness of space. Derelict space stations, large-scale space animals, paradise worlds, planet-destroying asteroids, and more can be found. I’ve discovered deserted ring worlds, abandoned ships that made my scientists go insane, and ceramic objects that have puzzled my philosophers and researchers for decades. All of these things have consequences, whether beneficial or disastrous. As far as I can tell, every game also has some kind of randomized end-game crisis that can conquer the galaxy if left unchecked. I encountered three crises during my time with Stellaris: The Prethoryn Scourge, a race of hostile creatures from beyond the reaches of the galaxy; extra dimensional entities that invade through a dimensional rift; and the ever-present threat of AI research leading to unshackled sentience and the rise of a robotic revolution against organics. If unmanaged, all of these can prove devastating to the entire galaxy. The diplomacy system creates decent interaction with AI players. Each political system and racial outlook grants different bonuses that make every faction’s reaction to other cultures different. The way you improve standing with other societies is by establishing embassies, having common rivals or enemies, trade, and by projecting military might. However, these interactions can sometimes be handicapped by an empire's natural inclination, that often can't be overcome by negotiation and leads to some frustration. Empires can ally with one another and, if enough empires are in alliance, form a federation. On the more aggressive side of negotiation, often it isn’t beneficial to outright conquer another empire when at war. Instead, Stellaris gives players the option to vassalize their enemies. This essentially forces them to be your ally and allows players to slowly integrate that empire into their own without the negative consequences like rebellion or sabotage. While Stellaris might not represent the pinnacle of RTS visuals, it proves to be more than adequate on the eyes. The models for the various races are nicely detailed and move with a life-like energy. Zooming in close to view stars and planets presents pleasing and unique worlds and vistas floating in space. The ship models are also well made, if a little lacking in differentiation. It is hard to tell the difference between most ships and weapons beyond the particle effects being used and the size of the vessel. This brings us to perhaps the most lackluster part of Stellaris: Combat. Engagements are automatic when fleets of warships enter firing range. Each fleet has a number indicating its combat strength and 99% of the time the fleet with the bigger overall number wins. This leads to players stacking up “fleets of doom” with all military strength in one massive death ball rolling through the cosmos. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t as interesting as the tactics players can use in games like Sins of a Solar Empire or StarCraft. Perhaps those who have entered high levels of RTS play can more effectively split fleets, but the game’s AI encourages this behavior, too. Even though the AI will break into different fleet sizes, any AI allies a player has will just send all their fleets to follow the player’s largest fleet. This actually causes some degree of lag, even on beefy computers because so many ships can be flying around in a bajillion different fleets. Beyond that, the AI just generally makes poor tactical decisions and often seems to become inactive outside of sending their fleets to follow the ever growing death ball. Remember those potentially game-ending crises I mentioned earlier? The AI does almost nothing in response to those. It can be frustrating when an extra dimensional invasion starts on the other side of the galaxy because about fifteen empires can stand between you and the rift and none of them will lift a finger to close it, even as their civilizations crumble into ruin. Pray that you or a neighboring empire is the one to begin the robotic revolution or you will have almost no chance of stopping it when it hits full swing and has enslaved half the galaxy before you can reach it. This seems like such an oversight that I have a hard time believing it wasn’t caught during QA testing. If I had to guess, end-game crises were an idea that entered late in development and Paradox didn’t have time to fully iron out the kinks before shipping it. I’m hoping for an extensive AI patch in the coming months that addresses AI inaction in the face of certain death, but it is a shame Stellaris didn’t ship with that functionality in the first place. If the AI proves to be a huge turn off, I’d recommend grabbing a couple friends who will stick with Stellaris for the long-haul and playing online. Having allies (or enemies, if your friends are particularly competitive/prone to backstabbery) that can react to situations in a human way really does add to the experience significantly. The only hurdle is time. Even at the fastest game speed, a full campaign might take 24-30 hours on a small sized map. Conclusion: All the randomized elements Stellaris brings to every galaxy it generates really absorbed me. Much like when I play Civilization and lose hours of my life being engaged in strategic decision-making, I found myself captivated by the emergent narratives of my alien empires in Stellaris. This review has only scratched the surface of the sense of discovery Stellaris holds for those with imagination. Primitive alien worlds can be observed, researched, guided, genetically altered, and uplifted to be allies in some unforeseen galactic war. Ancient ships might be discovered that might possibly be resurrected as weapons capable of setting an atmosphere ablaze. Sure, the pace might be slower than ideal at times and the AI might not be up to all of the tasks asked of it, but I had an undeniably great time exploring the stars and conquering my enemies through war, diplomacy, and manipulation. Despite lacking a story-driven campaign, Paradox included all the tools necessary to forge unique stories with every playthrough and I’m hoping Stellaris goes on to influence more games, directing them in how to create an effective emergent narrative on a grand scale. Stellaris was reviewed on PC and is now available View full article
  9. Jack Gardner

    Review: Stellaris

    With the advent of faster than light travel, the void of space suddenly seemed to teem with life. Human, alien, synthetic, and organisms that defy classification found new homes in the cosmos. Players step in to lead an empire at the dawn of an exciting new era as creatures of all kinds reach for the stars. What awaits in the cold vacuum of space and the worlds orbiting foreign stars? Only those bold enough to go forth into the unknown can tell. Stellaris, though ultimately flawed in a number of ways, might just be the best 4X game of the last few years. Breaking free of more traditional turn-based shackles, Stellaris presents players with a fluid real-time strategy system. Within that real-time framework, the title asks players to manage an every expanding empire. Players will need to choose their priorities and balance the need to develop planets and galactic infrastructure against building a deadly fleet to defend their people against the various threats that they will encounter in the galaxy. Now, as one might imagine, there is a fair amount of micromanaging that can become too much once an empire gets too big. Developer Paradox understood the need to simplify the micromanagement and implemented a sector system. Once an empire has hit a certain size, it can begin sectioning off portions of the empire into sectors, autonomous regions that manage themselves and send the player resources. While this significantly streamlines play, especially during the late game, the overall pace of Stellaris seems a bit off. It can occasionally turn between everything happening very quickly to long stretches of waiting. Paradox does provide game speed options, but even on the fastest setting common activities like ship building or research seem to take long periods of time to finish. Players choose from a handful of pre-made spacefaring races or create their own, customizing everything from their people’s philosophy and system of government to their genetic dispositions. From there, every game presents its own challenges. Each galaxy that a player loads into is randomized with different races and events. This element of unpredictability leads to a kind of emergent history for the various fictional factions that make up each galaxy. For example, in one of my campaigns I created a race of snout-toting mammals called the Sneeb, religious zealots in a military dictatorship that lived to be over 200 years old. Early on in the game, my defensive space fleet was caught out by a neighboring empire and destroyed, leaving me at the mercy of their armada. My enemies then bombarded my planet from orbit for almost a century. However, they lacked the armies to successfully invade on foot and my people live for so long that the population being bombarded simply waited for the enemy government officials to die of old age and end the war. Random events can also be encountered in the vastness of space. Derelict space stations, large-scale space animals, paradise worlds, planet-destroying asteroids, and more can be found. I’ve discovered deserted ring worlds, abandoned ships that made my scientists go insane, and ceramic objects that have puzzled my philosophers and researchers for decades. All of these things have consequences, whether beneficial or disastrous. As far as I can tell, every game also has some kind of randomized end-game crisis that can conquer the galaxy if left unchecked. I encountered three crises during my time with Stellaris: The Prethoryn Scourge, a race of hostile creatures from beyond the reaches of the galaxy; extra dimensional entities that invade through a dimensional rift; and the ever-present threat of AI research leading to unshackled sentience and the rise of a robotic revolution against organics. If unmanaged, all of these can prove devastating to the entire galaxy. The diplomacy system creates decent interaction with AI players. Each political system and racial outlook grants different bonuses that make every faction’s reaction to other cultures different. The way you improve standing with other societies is by establishing embassies, having common rivals or enemies, trade, and by projecting military might. However, these interactions can sometimes be handicapped by an empire's natural inclination, that often can't be overcome by negotiation and leads to some frustration. Empires can ally with one another and, if enough empires are in alliance, form a federation. On the more aggressive side of negotiation, often it isn’t beneficial to outright conquer another empire when at war. Instead, Stellaris gives players the option to vassalize their enemies. This essentially forces them to be your ally and allows players to slowly integrate that empire into their own without the negative consequences like rebellion or sabotage. While Stellaris might not represent the pinnacle of RTS visuals, it proves to be more than adequate on the eyes. The models for the various races are nicely detailed and move with a life-like energy. Zooming in close to view stars and planets presents pleasing and unique worlds and vistas floating in space. The ship models are also well made, if a little lacking in differentiation. It is hard to tell the difference between most ships and weapons beyond the particle effects being used and the size of the vessel. This brings us to perhaps the most lackluster part of Stellaris: Combat. Engagements are automatic when fleets of warships enter firing range. Each fleet has a number indicating its combat strength and 99% of the time the fleet with the bigger overall number wins. This leads to players stacking up “fleets of doom” with all military strength in one massive death ball rolling through the cosmos. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t as interesting as the tactics players can use in games like Sins of a Solar Empire or StarCraft. Perhaps those who have entered high levels of RTS play can more effectively split fleets, but the game’s AI encourages this behavior, too. Even though the AI will break into different fleet sizes, any AI allies a player has will just send all their fleets to follow the player’s largest fleet. This actually causes some degree of lag, even on beefy computers because so many ships can be flying around in a bajillion different fleets. Beyond that, the AI just generally makes poor tactical decisions and often seems to become inactive outside of sending their fleets to follow the ever growing death ball. Remember those potentially game-ending crises I mentioned earlier? The AI does almost nothing in response to those. It can be frustrating when an extra dimensional invasion starts on the other side of the galaxy because about fifteen empires can stand between you and the rift and none of them will lift a finger to close it, even as their civilizations crumble into ruin. Pray that you or a neighboring empire is the one to begin the robotic revolution or you will have almost no chance of stopping it when it hits full swing and has enslaved half the galaxy before you can reach it. This seems like such an oversight that I have a hard time believing it wasn’t caught during QA testing. If I had to guess, end-game crises were an idea that entered late in development and Paradox didn’t have time to fully iron out the kinks before shipping it. I’m hoping for an extensive AI patch in the coming months that addresses AI inaction in the face of certain death, but it is a shame Stellaris didn’t ship with that functionality in the first place. If the AI proves to be a huge turn off, I’d recommend grabbing a couple friends who will stick with Stellaris for the long-haul and playing online. Having allies (or enemies, if your friends are particularly competitive/prone to backstabbery) that can react to situations in a human way really does add to the experience significantly. The only hurdle is time. Even at the fastest game speed, a full campaign might take 24-30 hours on a small sized map. Conclusion: All the randomized elements Stellaris brings to every galaxy it generates really absorbed me. Much like when I play Civilization and lose hours of my life being engaged in strategic decision-making, I found myself captivated by the emergent narratives of my alien empires in Stellaris. This review has only scratched the surface of the sense of discovery Stellaris holds for those with imagination. Primitive alien worlds can be observed, researched, guided, genetically altered, and uplifted to be allies in some unforeseen galactic war. Ancient ships might be discovered that might possibly be resurrected as weapons capable of setting an atmosphere ablaze. Sure, the pace might be slower than ideal at times and the AI might not be up to all of the tasks asked of it, but I had an undeniably great time exploring the stars and conquering my enemies through war, diplomacy, and manipulation. Despite lacking a story-driven campaign, Paradox included all the tools necessary to forge unique stories with every playthrough and I’m hoping Stellaris goes on to influence more games, directing them in how to create an effective emergent narrative on a grand scale. Stellaris was reviewed on PC and is now available
  10. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada blasts its way into full PC release tomorrow, but the launch trailer shows off two minutes of spectacular in-game maneuvering that gets up-close and personal with the various tactics used when the Chaos Legion moves in to annihilate the Imperial Navy. As the end is in sight, the Imperials stand resolute, but perhaps some hope remains.... The Space Marines faction make their first appearance in the launch trailer and are one of two additional factions that will be available for free to those who buy before launch or within the first two months of launch. The second faction has yet to be revealed. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada features an expansive single-player campaign that allows players to fill their bag of tricks with unique skills and persistently upgrade their vessels. PvP multiplayer adds to the longevity of the experience, allowing players to battle it out in the cold vacuum of space for tactical supremacy. Most interestingly, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada uses unique AI personalities for each ship commander, meaning that individual ships make choices to fight or flee when things get rough. The game even makes sure to use accurate representations of ships from the Warhammer universe, true to their scale, from fast frigates to colossal warships that are miles long. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada launches tomorrow for PC. View full article
  11. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada blasts its way into full PC release tomorrow, but the launch trailer shows off two minutes of spectacular in-game maneuvering that gets up-close and personal with the various tactics used when the Chaos Legion moves in to annihilate the Imperial Navy. As the end is in sight, the Imperials stand resolute, but perhaps some hope remains.... The Space Marines faction make their first appearance in the launch trailer and are one of two additional factions that will be available for free to those who buy before launch or within the first two months of launch. The second faction has yet to be revealed. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada features an expansive single-player campaign that allows players to fill their bag of tricks with unique skills and persistently upgrade their vessels. PvP multiplayer adds to the longevity of the experience, allowing players to battle it out in the cold vacuum of space for tactical supremacy. Most interestingly, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada uses unique AI personalities for each ship commander, meaning that individual ships make choices to fight or flee when things get rough. The game even makes sure to use accurate representations of ships from the Warhammer universe, true to their scale, from fast frigates to colossal warships that are miles long. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada launches tomorrow for PC.
  12. Though the sweeping real-time strategy title Etherium isn't hitting PC until March 25, the launch trailer slipped out a bit before then. Etherium centers on the conflict between the Vectides, Intar, and Consortium over the scarce resources of the galaxy. Each faction has access to unique abilities and technology that players will have to use to their advantage to defeat opposing forces. Tindalos Interactive has also included a dynamic weather system that will have various effects on units, requiring players to be able to adapt their tactics accordingly. Intrigued gamers can pre-order Etherium prior to its release on Wednesday for a 10% discount off of the $29.99 price tag along with immediate access to the multiplayer beta.
  13. Though the sweeping real-time strategy title Etherium isn't hitting PC until March 25, the launch trailer slipped out a bit before then. Etherium centers on the conflict between the Vectides, Intar, and Consortium over the scarce resources of the galaxy. Each faction has access to unique abilities and technology that players will have to use to their advantage to defeat opposing forces. Tindalos Interactive has also included a dynamic weather system that will have various effects on units, requiring players to be able to adapt their tactics accordingly. Intrigued gamers can pre-order Etherium prior to its release on Wednesday for a 10% discount off of the $29.99 price tag along with immediate access to the multiplayer beta. View full article
  14. Over the weekend, Gearbox Software showed the work they've done revamping the beloved strategy RTS titles Homeworld (1999) and Homeworld 2 (2003) at PAX South. They also announced that the collection will release for PC on February 25. The remastered games were crafted using their original code with some modern refinements and new in-game assets. The folks at Gearbox consulted with some of the developers who worked on Homeworld and Homeworld 2, as well as some of the most hardcore fans in the ongoing communities the games inspired. Out of reverence, and in a nod of appreciation toward the gaming purists, the unremastered version of both titles are included in the collection for those who want to hew completely to the original experience. Additionally, anyone who purchases the collection will gain access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta. This competitive multiplayer beta combines the two original competitive modes into one experience for players. All races, maps, and game modes have been effectively joined together. “Homeworld is among the greatest strategy games in history, and we’re very proud of the work our team has put into bringing this exceptional series to modern PCs,” said Brian Martel, chief creative officer at Gearbox. “We received a lot of great feedback from the passionate Homeworld fan community, and we hope to deliver a game they – and new fans from around the world – can get lost in for countless hours to come.” Oh, but that's not all! Gearbox has partnered with Blackbird Interactive to create an entirely new Homeworld game. Blackbird was founded by Rob Cunningham and Aaron Kambeitz, both of whom helped develop Homeworld. The new game is titled Homeworld Shipbreakers and will serve as a prequel to the first Homeworld. "It is a very special and rare thing to see a project so close to your heart not only get re-released, but remastered with such loving care and attention,” said Rob Cunningham, co-founder of Homeworld developer Relic Entertainment and its original art director. “That fact alone is a wonderful privilege for me, but it is beyond rare to be working on an all-new entry as well! I have been sucked into a bubbling time-vortex hot tub of Homeworld – and I love it." So, we'll be seeing Homeworld a lot sooner than we expected, we'll be getting streamlined multiplayer, there is more Homeworld on the way, and basically everything is awesome.
  15. Over the weekend, Gearbox Software showed the work they've done revamping the beloved strategy RTS titles Homeworld (1999) and Homeworld 2 (2003) at PAX South. They also announced that the collection will release for PC on February 25. The remastered games were crafted using their original code with some modern refinements and new in-game assets. The folks at Gearbox consulted with some of the developers who worked on Homeworld and Homeworld 2, as well as some of the most hardcore fans in the ongoing communities the games inspired. Out of reverence, and in a nod of appreciation toward the gaming purists, the unremastered version of both titles are included in the collection for those who want to hew completely to the original experience. Additionally, anyone who purchases the collection will gain access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta. This competitive multiplayer beta combines the two original competitive modes into one experience for players. All races, maps, and game modes have been effectively joined together. “Homeworld is among the greatest strategy games in history, and we’re very proud of the work our team has put into bringing this exceptional series to modern PCs,” said Brian Martel, chief creative officer at Gearbox. “We received a lot of great feedback from the passionate Homeworld fan community, and we hope to deliver a game they – and new fans from around the world – can get lost in for countless hours to come.” Oh, but that's not all! Gearbox has partnered with Blackbird Interactive to create an entirely new Homeworld game. Blackbird was founded by Rob Cunningham and Aaron Kambeitz, both of whom helped develop Homeworld. The new game is titled Homeworld Shipbreakers and will serve as a prequel to the first Homeworld. "It is a very special and rare thing to see a project so close to your heart not only get re-released, but remastered with such loving care and attention,” said Rob Cunningham, co-founder of Homeworld developer Relic Entertainment and its original art director. “That fact alone is a wonderful privilege for me, but it is beyond rare to be working on an all-new entry as well! I have been sucked into a bubbling time-vortex hot tub of Homeworld – and I love it." So, we'll be seeing Homeworld a lot sooner than we expected, we'll be getting streamlined multiplayer, there is more Homeworld on the way, and basically everything is awesome. View full article
  16. During E3, I stopped by the independent developer portion of the Sony booth to see the titles that the publisher has been attracting to the PS4. One of the titles on display was Ray’s the Dead, a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse. Like any zombie-loving individual, I felt the tug of intrigue and went in for a closer look. One of the first things that struck me about Ray’s The Dead was the art style, which is vaguely reminiscent of Plants vs. Zombies, but with its own flair and a 3D- background with which the 2D character models contrast nicely separating it from anything else that I've played before. The game is set during the 80s and little touches can be seen throughout the demo like the Pac-Man ghosts and the Double Deuce bar from the ’89 film Road House. I played through the first level of the game which began with Ray, the titular zombie character, arising from the grave. After scaring some of the local hillbilly inhabitants, Ray learns that he can raise and command zombies by using the light bulb that is inexplicably implanted into his skull. After raising a few of the dead in the graveyard, Ray and his friends encountered a number of farmers who yelled things like “ERHMERGERD!” at the sight of a pack of approaching zombies. This was when I learned that I could give the zombies orders to attack specific locations and targets, much like the gameplay found in Nintendo's Pikmin titles. After killing a human, you can resurrect them to become part of your growing zombie army. In the final area of the graveyard, I encountered a fist-fighting redneck and engaged him in one-on-one combat (which ended with Ray cartoonishly devouring his brains). Ray can perform finishing moves on stunned opponents that increase his health by 25% in addition to his normal melee attacks. After the graveyard, I led my burgeoning zombie apocalypse into the town proper where it just so happened to be Halloween. With the kids walking around in costumes, the pack of zombies didn’t look out of place and no one was any the wiser. I was told by the developers that there would be a recurring theme throughout the game of people being unable to recognize the zombies as a real threat or writing them off for various (and possibly ridiculous) reasons. This part of the level relied on being sneaky, not killing anyone, and avoiding police dogs who could sniff out the decaying flesh of the undead. After making it through the sniffing dog section (which is a phrase I would have never expected to write), I encountered a wall that needed ten zombies to knock over, but only had seven following me. The solution? Hide zombies in bushes to gnaw on random pedestrians! After welcoming the new brainless to the flock, I pushed forward to the next part of our journey. In the next segment, Ray encountered zombie dogs. The devs told us that these were just one of many different types of zombies that would have special effects. While ordering a normal zombie to attack results in the zombie shambling over to the target, zombie dogs will dash towards their enemies and stun them briefly, giving you a safe opening to send in the rest of your zombie army. After mastering these handy tools of the zombie trade, the zombie army made its way toward the final confrontation with the now alerted local law enforcement of the sleepy southern town. The final area was the main street of the town where cops had converged to stop the zombie menace from spreading. This section of the demo proved particularly challenging and, much to my chagrin, I was unable to complete it. The build I saw was in pre-Alpha, so not all of the kinks were worked out, but this game shows a lot of potential. Keep an eye out for it in early 2014 when it releases on PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4. View full article
  17. During E3, I stopped by the independent developer portion of the Sony booth to see the titles that the publisher has been attracting to the PS4. One of the titles on display was Ray’s the Dead, a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse. Like any zombie-loving individual, I felt the tug of intrigue and went in for a closer look. One of the first things that struck me about Ray’s The Dead was the art style, which is vaguely reminiscent of Plants vs. Zombies, but with its own flair and a 3D- background with which the 2D character models contrast nicely separating it from anything else that I've played before. The game is set during the 80s and little touches can be seen throughout the demo like the Pac-Man ghosts and the Double Deuce bar from the ’89 film Road House. I played through the first level of the game which began with Ray, the titular zombie character, arising from the grave. After scaring some of the local hillbilly inhabitants, Ray learns that he can raise and command zombies by using the light bulb that is inexplicably implanted into his skull. After raising a few of the dead in the graveyard, Ray and his friends encountered a number of farmers who yelled things like “ERHMERGERD!” at the sight of a pack of approaching zombies. This was when I learned that I could give the zombies orders to attack specific locations and targets, much like the gameplay found in Nintendo's Pikmin titles. After killing a human, you can resurrect them to become part of your growing zombie army. In the final area of the graveyard, I encountered a fist-fighting redneck and engaged him in one-on-one combat (which ended with Ray cartoonishly devouring his brains). Ray can perform finishing moves on stunned opponents that increase his health by 25% in addition to his normal melee attacks. After the graveyard, I led my burgeoning zombie apocalypse into the town proper where it just so happened to be Halloween. With the kids walking around in costumes, the pack of zombies didn’t look out of place and no one was any the wiser. I was told by the developers that there would be a recurring theme throughout the game of people being unable to recognize the zombies as a real threat or writing them off for various (and possibly ridiculous) reasons. This part of the level relied on being sneaky, not killing anyone, and avoiding police dogs who could sniff out the decaying flesh of the undead. After making it through the sniffing dog section (which is a phrase I would have never expected to write), I encountered a wall that needed ten zombies to knock over, but only had seven following me. The solution? Hide zombies in bushes to gnaw on random pedestrians! After welcoming the new brainless to the flock, I pushed forward to the next part of our journey. In the next segment, Ray encountered zombie dogs. The devs told us that these were just one of many different types of zombies that would have special effects. While ordering a normal zombie to attack results in the zombie shambling over to the target, zombie dogs will dash towards their enemies and stun them briefly, giving you a safe opening to send in the rest of your zombie army. After mastering these handy tools of the zombie trade, the zombie army made its way toward the final confrontation with the now alerted local law enforcement of the sleepy southern town. The final area was the main street of the town where cops had converged to stop the zombie menace from spreading. This section of the demo proved particularly challenging and, much to my chagrin, I was unable to complete it. The build I saw was in pre-Alpha, so not all of the kinks were worked out, but this game shows a lot of potential. Keep an eye out for it in early 2014 when it releases on PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4.
  18. Yesterday, Blizzard implemented a new feature to StarCraft II called “Spawning.” Essentially, spawning allows players who have purchased the latest version of StarCraft II to invite friends to their game who have an older version, or free version, and spawn them in, upgrading their content to the latest version for the duration of their gameplay session. This means that if a Heart of the Swarm player invites a Wings of Liberty player to their party, the Wings of Liberty player is instantly upgraded to be able to access Heart of the Swarm content. The same applies to players with free Starter Edition accounts who are invited to a Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm party. What content is unlocked for spawned players: - All vs A.I. modes, including team games - Ranked and unranked team games - All custom game maps - Access to the arcade (user-generated mods) Spawned players cannot access certain content: - Single-player campaign - Certain social features, like clans and groups - Can only play as a pre-selected race in multiplayer (currently Terran) This is a great day if you have friends that own StarCraft II. Party sizes are capped at fifteen players, meaning that one game owner could invite up to fourteen people who own the Starter Edition and give them access to those higher features from Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm. Also, if you own Heart of the Swarm, playing with friends earns you a 25% experience bonus, so this is a perfect opportunity to play with friends who have never been able to fully check out Heart of the Swarm or Wings of Liberty. For more information on Spawning, you can watch this handy video. For more information on the Starter Edition, you can watch this other handy video. To download the Starter Edition and start mooching off your friends, click this link. View full article
  19. Yesterday, Blizzard implemented a new feature to StarCraft II called “Spawning.” Essentially, spawning allows players who have purchased the latest version of StarCraft II to invite friends to their game who have an older version, or free version, and spawn them in, upgrading their content to the latest version for the duration of their gameplay session. This means that if a Heart of the Swarm player invites a Wings of Liberty player to their party, the Wings of Liberty player is instantly upgraded to be able to access Heart of the Swarm content. The same applies to players with free Starter Edition accounts who are invited to a Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm party. What content is unlocked for spawned players: - All vs A.I. modes, including team games - Ranked and unranked team games - All custom game maps - Access to the arcade (user-generated mods) Spawned players cannot access certain content: - Single-player campaign - Certain social features, like clans and groups - Can only play as a pre-selected race in multiplayer (currently Terran) This is a great day if you have friends that own StarCraft II. Party sizes are capped at fifteen players, meaning that one game owner could invite up to fourteen people who own the Starter Edition and give them access to those higher features from Wings of Liberty or Heart of the Swarm. Also, if you own Heart of the Swarm, playing with friends earns you a 25% experience bonus, so this is a perfect opportunity to play with friends who have never been able to fully check out Heart of the Swarm or Wings of Liberty. For more information on Spawning, you can watch this handy video. For more information on the Starter Edition, you can watch this other handy video. To download the Starter Edition and start mooching off your friends, click this link.
×