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
Jun 27, 2013I *REALLY* look forward to when I can edit this review to something positive, because I love Endless Space and wanted to love Disharmony. But the bugs. The most grievous is that the ship design screen was changed to only show the top version of every module type you have available. Instead of showing 5 kinds of shields, it shows 1. The problem is that if the top one requires a resource you don't have (either because you don't have it yet or lost it due to war), you can't tell the game to build an older version. In effect by researching newer shields you lose the ability to place any shields on new/updated ship designs. It's crazy that it was released like that.
I'm also having performance issues, and a lot of the combat mechanics are more opaque now than they were before, such that it's hard to tell what's going on. There's a lot of things to like, but ship design is so fundamental that it takes a lot away. When they get things polished up, I'll be very happy to rewrite this review. … 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
Feb 21, 2014Overall I like this game, and I didn't get married to the original so I welcomed the changes. Playing on Hard the AI seems interesting and the game has enough depth to keep me playing. I'm going to focus more on the things I'd like changed since the positives largely carry over from the original.
The main issue with the original was that one or two techs in the military branch would translate to a huge military power imbalance for fleets. In one game in the original I used one fleet with 16k military power to destroy 10 fleets with 12k military power over several turns. That kind of seems absurd if you think about... especially that their combined military power is an order of magnitude more than mine.
The expansion takes care of that issue somewhat because the jumps are not as significant. But I'd like to see a moral booster applied from having friendly fleets in the system with you. For example, improve weapon accuracy by some % depending on the number and strength of other fleets in the system. This way having more fleets actually means something other than creating a lineup of suicides.
The second issue is still the same from the original, and it's the fact that the start grouping of systems has a HUGE impact on the overall flow of the game. From one game to the next you can be top dog or nothing simply because within your wormhole separated cluster (isolated area of space you start off in before you research wormhole tech) there are "good" or "bad" systems. For example, when you start with a few systems with 5+ planets where 1-2 are large terran/jungle/ocean planets you can colonize fast and get your production and research to skyrocket really quickly. This snowballs because you can subsequently colonize/terraform harder planets way more quickly than usual. On the flip side, there are games when only my home system is worth anything early on and it's no surprise I end up last in ranking pretty early on. The galaxy randomness needs to be tweeked to ensure that each empire has equally easy/hard access to a few good systems. This applies to both human and AI empires.
It seems like I outlined a bunch of negatives, but in summary I'm really just focusing on the stuff I'd like fixed to give this game that extra sweet quality. I like all the civ differences, the tech trees, the planet terraforming and colonization and all that jazz. It's a great strategy game that only lacks balance sometimes if and only if the random galaxy generation fails, it doesn't happen very often though.… 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.