Jul 5, 2013I recently bought and played the expansion. I will give you a rundown of what I experience. This should tell you what the game is all about. I'll list advertised features, what I thought were pros and cons (after playing), and a rundown of my one and only game.
Advertised Features (copy/paste from steam):
-A brand new Faction called “the Harmony” with a single objective in mind: Annihilate Dust!
-New Fighter and Bomber units that will completely change the shape of combats, especially with the new Battle Formation and Targeting systems
-A complete rework of the Ship Design interface, including an improved Weapon System that provides family types for modules (melee, medium range and long range)
-New Invasion mechanics have been added: Prepare your population for Bombardments, Sieges and land Invasions!
Expect to face a real challenge when playing against AI opponents with the New Adaptive Multi-Agent System (AMAS)
Many other additions and features voted or requested by the community including:
Four new Heroes
A new option to disable Exchange of Technologies, as a request from the Multiplayer community!
-Revamped techs (no more upgrading ships every 5-10 turns)
-New weapons such as fighter/bomber squads (is cool)
-New ship classes
-Strategic control during battles
Cons (Gameplay breakdown will illustrate them all):
-Custom races still better than presets
-Overpowered buildings, hero abilities
-Bad ship designing (this one will probably be fixed early with patches)
Race: Custom United Empire Affinity
Traits: Scientists 2, Huygens Rings, Optimal Builders 2, Dust Impaired 2, Dust Starved. Optimistic
Map: Small, Disk, Normal Difficulty, 4 Players including myself.
I quickly started by building food, researching production, science, and gold. My only neighbour was Hissho, a militant civ. I teched a few weapons and made 4 ships (Starship 1) level 2 general. The Hissho felt me weak and attacked, failed, and were counter-attacked. I blockaded a minor colony (1/4 systems they owned) and waited until I got siege weapons to conquer them. Apparently you need siege to take systems. I conquered the system without ever having my forces counter-attacked... By the militant Hissho... So I scouted them and besieged their capital. They had 1 fleet surrounding their capital, and 2-3 ships were scouts.
Somehow I unlocked wormhole-travelling before all other civs and found Automatons, and Harmony. I had 3 fleets at this point, only one of which comprised of Starship 2s. I opened diplomacy for ceasefire and realised I could extort the ceasefire for techs and gpt (50, 30). I destroyed the Hissho, with my general reaching level 11. Remaining civs no longer provided gpt, so I attacked them simultaneously. Both civs had considerably more ships, but nothing that compared to Starship 1. My general skyrocketed to level 22 after annexing 1 system. Despite fighting about 3 fleets per turn, none of their ships had missiles, and none of them did over 200 damage (compared to my 500 dmg Starship 1). Most of their ships had kinetic weapons with some lasers.
I designed better ships with upgraded weaponry. Harmony died before I had a new fleet. Automatons finally produced ships dealing 1,000+ dmg... all kinetic, yet at this point my ships dealt 3,000+ dmg. My general was still in Starship 1 fleet and winning everytime (due to op bonuses). I won by expansion.
Obviously the game is broken that I could constantly out-tech, out-militarise, and out-colonise everyone amost simultaenously. The Hissho were a joke, Harmony was powerless, and Automatons spammed garbage hoping it would deter me. My biggest issue in the original game was gpt, but when I finished this game I had 2,500+ gpt. I actually ignore gpt after I saw I was making 500+. I also ignored ship upgrading, and lost 2 fleets due to neglect and pushing out stronger ships.
Maybe playing "Normal Difficulty" was just far too below my level, but I didn't even get a feel for the other races' strength/weaknesses. Compare that to Civ5 where you know, you see, Japan is military inclined, while Egpyt is cultural.
ES: Disharmony is just bad.… Expand
Sep 9, 2013This expansion pack is something of an oddity in the sense that it TAKES from the game as much as it ADDS. What does it add? One faction with badly drawn ships (I thought that crystal ships should look gorgeous, this is not the case here), bombers and fighters and a few extra technologies depending on race. What does it take? Most of the beam, missile and kinetic weapons. I'm not kidding: 70% of them are now gone from the tech tree. You get 3 tiers of those instead of 10, for a few more tiers of bombers and fighters which are laughably ineffective. I bought it, and now I'm playing only vanilla. At least it lets me to...… Expand
Jul 17, 2013I think they really dropped the ball with this expansion. The AI is terrible now compared to what it used to capable of, but that being said I've not tried it on harder difficulties yet, they may have changed the difficulty curve so 'normal' is now 'easy'.
The ship design screen is a bit of a mess where you cannot use older modules on your ships, which was a very useful feature for many ships that lacked the space for newer modules.
The new invasion mechanic is a pain, you have to reach a certain threshold to invade a system, which means if your fleet does not meet that threshold you got to bring them back, redesign some of the ships and/or juggle the fleet composition about and send them back to the system.
And as another reviewer said, I think it's unfair to release many of the fixes in this patch as DLC or an expansion when the core gameplay was broken in the original. Some of the things that were fixed in this should have been free, and they could have released the other stuff like bombers in an expansion.… Expand
Sep 18, 2013this expansion ruins the game. DO NOT BUY. Balance is completely messed up. Races are broken, diplomacy is broken. The game went from being a decent masters of Orion clone, to being garbage,
Until thy fix this, this developer is on my do not buy list. an expansion is supposed to add to a game, this TAKES FROM IT.