Hey forum and Stardock!
Firstly, V2.6 is really quite excellent and I've had a lot of fun playing with the game in its current iteration. GalCiv 3 has come a long way and has held up quite well when compared to the competition. This is one of my go to games, and I feel confident when I recommend it to other players. All the neat work that has gone into balancing, AI and performance really shines here. No other 4X lets me create my own stories quite like GalCiv 3.
I wanted to take some time to write out some feedback on some of the areas that need some work in the future.
1. The dreaded white text for the tech tree:
I am not sure what causes the issue, but the tech tree has a habit of losing its colour-coding. The severity of the issue varies.
2. The worker and engineer specializations appear to be mixed up in the tech tree, which can be quite confusing:
3. Espionage UI:
I've been complaining about this one since Crusade launched, and I will continue to complain until a bit of UI QoL is implemented. The issue is apparent late game when you are spying on multiple planets, and managing multiple spies. As we know, you start from this menu:
From there, you can access a list of enemy planets, and if you have a high enough espionage rating, you can click on a planet and view its layout (what your enemy has built, etc) and place down some spies....
This is all good and well, but clicking [done] when you have accessed the menu drops you back to the galactic view, and not back to the espionage screen. I would argue that it is much better for the player who has gone to the espionage tab => planets => [specific planet] => [Done] => return to planet list that is accessed via the espionage tab. Now, I realise you can just scroll around the galactic map, click planet and place spies, but can we have both?
Lastly, Espionage is really powerful if you gear your economy around pumping spies out. I like that it is very useful. However, it seems odd that AI civs don't have all that much to say or don't seem to react to having your spies disable all their key buildings....
4. Mercenary Balancing:
I think the mercenaries have been quite neglected. There are some really cool ideas with the mercenaries, the models are great and the gameplay concept is perfectly sound. I want to use them, and I want excuses to use them. However, it is quite apparent they need some more balance work. Especially the combat oriented ones. For the price you pay, they don't stack up very well against a conventional fleet that I, as a player, can pump out. Combat mercs should be something a more passive civ can go to in order to ward of an aggressive, warlike player. Right now, I use them because I can -- not because they're particularly great.
It's a bit weak for a late game super-ship.
5. Clumping ships, collision and battle camera issues.
I love space battles, and I love watching my custom ships fight it out. This is one of the big draws of GalCiv. However, there are some issues with the combat viewer. I'm finding, quite consistently, that my large capital ships often spawn in a clump, that awkwardly disperses as the battle progresses, or collide and clip into one another. It tends to clear up, but it's quite jarring and I have absolutely no recollection of this being a problem prior to Crusade. Here are some examples:
Lastly. I would like to see more improvements to combat camera in general. When it works, it shows off the game gloriously. But it also has a tendency to show odd, and boring angles. While it isn't perfect, Endless Space 2 does a great job with its camera.
I would like to see more pewpew:
6. Mega Events could use some tweaking and balance:
To be perfectly frank, the big ones like the Dread Lord Colony are complete pushovers. They appear, and get gobbled up by either me or the AI civs. Plus, it would be cool to have some more, right? What ever happened to those precursors from the Snathy dlc?
- I'm not sure if this is going to be addressed in the next expansion, but I would really like for the UP to get some more flavour, and to have a bit more of role in galactic affairs. Some of the powers don't seem to do much, if anything, like the Xendar home planet. A UI refresh for it would also help.
- I hate to point it out, because I love exploiting it, but currently the player can only utilize the precursor anomalies. With the fleet AI improved considerably, I'm hopeful these improvement will keep coming and we'll see a scenario where the AI fleet up and take out one of these anomalies.
Final note for this post. I play my games mostly on default settings, Huge and with the recommended players. I tend to go tight clusters, as I find the game is best when you are interacting with the AI civs, fighting or haggling over finite resources and where ships can be serious investments rather than something you have tonnes of. The AI really shines with these settings, but I also want to say that the improvement to the AI lately have been awesome. Also some of the visual tweaks are very much appreciated. This is still a very beautiful game, and the art and music guys should get a shout out.
*edited some grammar and syntax