Quick thoughts on Warlords from the designer

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

I've been saying this a lot to design teams lately:

There is no subsitute for playing the game and then playing the game some more and then playing it still more. And Warlords really shows that.

Now, those of you who get it right away are in for a particular treat that you should take advantage of as much as you can while you can:  There are a lot of absolutely crazy ship components in this that we have balanced as best we can but I can tell you right now, I there are going to be some crazy combos that will come from "the meta" so enjoy the crazy while you can.

We are going to be watching very closely how people use the new ship components and use that to train the AI to use them as well.

For instance, boarding parties are extremely strong.  Too strong? I'm not sure yet.   Cloaking is very powerful too.  So is weapon reflection.  And ion beams.  

I've done some combos that I am not going to discuss here that I've already had to adjust.  But it's a fine line between "balancing it" and what is fun.  

Case in point: I really, really enjoyed making some barely armed ships that were stuffed with defensive gadgery that were flanked by lots of cloaked ships that took out much larger fleets.  Is that fair? Is that balanced? I am not sure.  But I do know I enjoyed it a lot.

The other thing I have come away from playing Warlords: We're going to have to do a bunch of free updates to it because there's a ton of interesting new things we can add to it.  Cloaking detectors.  Mirage components. Teleporting. Etc.  I don't want to create additional war themed DLC or whatever and so it makes sense (to me anyway) to put this into a future update to Warlords.  

This is true with the invasion tactics too.   After playing with the invasion tactics I already know there are a bunch of invasion tactics I'd like to see added.  For example, I want some invasion tactics that let you have a chance at absolutely failing in your invasion in exchange for much more rapid conquest.  

Anyway, I hope you guys like what we've done.  We've never overhauled the combat in a GalCiv game this much...ever.  Not even the OS/2 versions from the 90s had this big of a change.  I know I like the changes but obviously, we're nervous and hoping you like it too.