We all love the game and have heaped praise upon it, but to make a better Sins-2, we need to identify what Sins-1 / Rebellion got wrong. This thread isn't intended to be about what additional features we might like to see, but rather about problems Sins-1 suffered from that we would like to see fixed for Sins-2. They could be persistent bugs that were never addressed or design flaws.
My viewpoint is from the perspective of an online Team PvP pro player who plays in 5 on 5 games (aka "5s"). I'll probably add more items to this list in this post as I think of more.
* Stability. By far the biggest complaint is game stability. The original game crashes ("minidump") often and the ICO server can also disconnect players. (When most of the players in a 5s minidump crash it's a megadump.) It sounds like Sins-2 has a fix for this problem by allowing players to rejoin games if they get dropped, which is already a huge improvement over Sins-1
* Overlapping Gravity Wells. It's difficult to manage ships or to get them to jump properly when planetary gravity wells overlap. It also makes constructing structures more difficult. This happens sometimes in the standard Random Maps. (5v5 games are played on the Huge Random Single Star Map.)
* Ships flying out of the Gravity Well but not Phase Jumping. Sometimes corvettes and other ships can fly past the edges of gravity wells and keep going into outer space as though they were traveling somewhere on regular impulse power instead of phase jumping. This is annoying and could potentially be exploited for scouting purposes or merely to lure away a larger small enemy fleet chasing it, such as 10 corvettes chasing down 2 corvettes, essentially removing a net of 8 enemy corvettes from the game until the owner notices them and orders them back to the planet. It can also occur when jump orders are given but instead of phase jumping, the ships just head out past the boundaries of the gravity well on impulse power.
* Z-Axis. It may not be an issue for people going against AI, but in PvP games the Z-Axis can be abused and may be difficult use and adds an unneeded layer of complexity. It might also "break" the game in various ways such as being able to move ships over starbases that cannot fire upward along a vertical axis. In my view, the Z-Axis should be eliminated as it is completely unneeded and would add an unnecessary layer of complexity to the game. Alternatively, at the very least a toggle to turn the Z-Axis off is needed.
* Accidental Scuttling or Mis-Scuttling. Important planets, structures, and ships can sometimes be accidentally scuttled. Suppose you thought you had selected a frigate you wanted to scuttle, but instead you didn't actually click on it and instead your home planet has been selected. You click scuttle without realizing that and 1 minute later receive a notice that your home planet has been lost and you think to yourself, WTF? This can also happen to capital ships, starbases, and titans. This could be fixed with a quick pop-up warning box asking if you really want to scuttle an expensive unit or important planet.
* Built-in Map Creator was very difficult to use. If you want to create a "custom" (user-made) map, you have two choices: Galaxy Forge or the in-game Map Creator. Including a simple Map Creator that will generate game maps with just a little bit of user input was a good idea, but no matter how much I messed with it, I always found it very difficult to use or get right. Oftentimes the phase lanes ended up being too long resulting in phase jumps that took forever to traverse (or maybe it was just that jumping them was very slow for some reason; it's been a long time). The end result was that most Map Creator maps were unplayable. Unfortunately because the game lacked auto-download for Galaxy Forge made maps, it was pretty much the only option for people who wanted to host games with strangers on non-standard maps. (Auto-download is you join a game room and if you do not have the map the game host selected, it automatically downloads for you.) I suspect that many casual players might want to play on maps whose parameters they define but don't know about Galaxy Forge or wouldn't want to take the time and patience to make a map in it and figure out where to put it, so they would be left to use the in-game Map Creator.
* Vasari Loyalist Titan as Faction Capital and Dragging out the End of the Game. This probably isn't an issue for people playing AI, but in Team PvP games it could potentially become annoying. As a standard rule, the game can be forcibly ended by the winning team by bombing out all of the enemy planets. Proper 5s etiquette is for players on the losing team to concede and say "gg" and quit the game when it is obvious their team can no longer win. This prevents the winning team from having to go through the boring and mechanical motions of bombing out every single enemy planet when the game is no longer interesting or competitive if someone on the losing team does not leave (or did leave but the game thinks they are still connected resulting in that player being "bugged"). This etiquette prevents "dead" games from getting dragged out and allows for a new game to be started. However, sometimes a player on the losing team is AFK or a jack-ass (or even bugged) and refuses to "gg" forcing the winning team to just declare victory and quit or bomb out every planet. However, some smart ass Vasari Loyalist jackwagons might make a Vasari Loyalist Titan and research the ability that allows it to serve as the faction capital, allowing the game to continue even if every single enemy planet on the map has been bombed out. This can be fixed by either allowing a game setting toggle to turn off that ability on the Vasari Loyalist titan and/or creating a "Declare Victory" condition where under certain circumstances the winning players could have a vote to "Declare Victory" and if certain conditions are met, the game ends with the Victory screen for them (and the Losing screen for whoever is dragging things out on the losing team).
* Planet Selection bug. Sometimes for whatever reason when you are focused in on a gravity well, you lose the ability to click on the planet so as to issue build orders to factories or to place structures and have to fully zoom out to click on the planet. It's annoying.
One of the major reasons to be excited about Sins 2 is that indeed, no matter what they do with the old engine Sins 1 is just plain outdated, even in comparison to other games of the same era. Basically the engine didn't age well, and would require a total rework to make stuff like multi-core threading work, hence why Sins 2 being built from the ground up to get rid of those issues is amazing.
The need for Sins 2 basically made itself apparent to me when I installed Rebellion on this new laptop a couple of months back, and I get hit with this apparently widespread issue of the game not being able to change and remember resolution settings under options.
Agree with Whipp almost entirely. The last part is tricky, there is a reason we don't play alternate victory conditions. I rather have it open end (some people like to just toy around after the game to see how their fleet would perform). If you have a dragger in enemy team, just leave? Who even cares about the stats there...
Not sure what is the issue with Vasari Loyalist Titan acting as capital. You say yourself there is an unwritten etiquette, but even people not playing as VL can decide not to follow it. And then you have to do "boring mechanical bombing" of every enemy planet, as you say. With VL Titan it can at least be interesting and not boring - while it can move, it cant run indefinitely, with clever teamwork you can cut its escape routes and corner it.
All in all, i disagree, its essential part of entire VL gameplay philosophy and it should not be changed for the sake of small percentage of playerbase playing competitive multiplayer or even better said, for few "jackasses" who decide not to gg even when all is clearly lost.
That said, if its some button, allowing to turn the ability off for competitive MP purposes, i dont care.
The starbase blind spots was 90% of the z-axis problem. Just make it so starbases don't have blind spots, and that will solve the problem. Technically minefields also have this issue, but honestly mines were a bit of a dud as a feature so I wouldn't be upset if they just aren't part of Sins 2, or only appear in a more limited fashion.
The bigger issue here was the victory conditions themselves were bad. The fact that the game required a gentleman's agreement to end in a timely manner is the problem to begin with. If someone did force you to play it out to the end it took obnoxiously long. Sins really needed some sort of domination victory, where one team could claim victory after obtaining a decisive advantage.
It could simply be an optional checkbox feature called "Allow Declare Victory"
Pirate mechanics were absurd. Surprised this wasn't mentioned in the list.
A lack of a "No Titans" option.
Hard coded AI that was not open to modding and alteration, particularly with gametypes that the AI did not understand.
Balance considerations - some ships and structures were unbalanced relative to others, limiting the viable range of the roster.
I have only design argument... It is not related to large scale gameplay.
I would like to have more scale awareness from people who create 3D models. For example if you consider the human size and estimate the cabin size of a corvette (the cabin front windows), please, use same scale for large ships. If you simulate multiple floors on large ships with lines of cabin lights, please, estimate how these dimensions are compared to corvette crew design elements.
Of course I understand that the game is designed as an RTS and it is similar to Star Craft 2, where the battlecruiser model is 10 meters long for the sake of gameplay while the real model should look like this https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/starcraft/images/d/d9/Hyperion_SC2_DevRend1.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/350?cb=20100717012436
But I like to feel the scale and durability of large ships in SINS (compared to Homeworld, where they are destroyed pretty fast). Especially when you can zoom in to every unit. This is why I spent many >500 hours in SINS playing large campaigns with multiple stars for many nights.
Of course in multiplayer it doesn't matter because you will never have time to look at your units... But many people are like me: not being a fun of the multiplayer.
The mechanics were fine. The problem was that there was no way to get a good difficulty level. The game varied between very weak and very strong pirates, and there were always new players that got killed by them and experienced players who could farm them and were never really challenged. I think it was really more of a design problem, as its hard to come up with a system that will please everyone.
I'm afraid I don't think this is really a problem. I think what is gained by the flavor of the faction far outweighs this rare abuse. From what I understand MP doesn't use victory conditions and just has their custom etiquette and rules anyways, so I think you already have the solution. You already know you won, and you can just quit the game to avoid the loss on record so its not like the win/lose ratio is all that important anyways.
Sometimes you want to see that Victory screen and don't want the sore loser who's dragging the game out to get the Victory screen when you leave the game as a reward for poor behavior. But you're right, it isn't uncommon for winning players to take off and join the next game up, if there is one.
I understand that. But there are tools to use see that victory screen, the victory conditions, that you don't use. Vasari Loyalists are immune to homeworld victory, but honestly some of the most fun I've had in multiplayer has actually been with flagship victory. In our modded games we sometimes turn on Occupation victory to ensure the game will eventually end by the dominate team, you could have "etiquette" to only use this victory option when a team believes they've already won.
Perhaps what you should suggest for Sins 2 is a victory condition that the 5s community would use, if there is one. I think voting to kick players might be a bit much, so ideally something based on the status in game.
This is an interesting topic, typically it's about what people want, not what they don't want or want improved. Thank you for taking the time for write this up!
I understand that. But there are tools to use see that victory screen, the victory conditions, that you don't use. Vasari Loyalists are immune to homeworld victory, but honestly some of the most fun I've had in multiplayer has actually been with flagship victory. In our modded games we sometimes turn on Occupation victory to ensure the game will eventually end by the dominate team, you could have "etiquette" to only use this victory option when a team believes they've already won.Perhaps what you should suggest for Sins 2 is a victory condition that the 5s community would use, if there is one. I think voting to kick players might be a bit much, so ideally something based on the status in game.
Agreed. Vasari Loyalists are the most unique faction in the game, dare i say in entire RTS gaming world (they are what the likes of Mongols from AoE4 wish they were), so if anything, the new game should double down on their mobility theme, not to take away from it because of some rare competitive multiplayer issues.
The other factions then need to get similar treatment regarding their unique character, i would say the likes of Advent Rebels or Vasari Rebels were bit under-developed and "bland" compared to VL, so they need more attention this time around as well.
Another bug in Sins-1. Sometimes for whatever reason when you are focused in on a gravity well, you lose the ability to click on the planet so as to issue build orders to factories or to place structures and have to fully zoom out to click on the planet. It's annoying.
What people do not want has been pointed out several times but we have not gotten any response to it so far...
For me, it was the lack of economic variety and the advent/vasari rebels. . Every faction was build miners and develop planets at their core with a few tricks here or there. The vasari felt too established to be a mobile civilization and the advent seemed to just accept that the economic aspect was going to be suffering. When you get the logistic slot upgrade and a slice of all trades for the TEC only then did the economy side feel good.
The TEC were the only faction where choosing between the two sides of its civil war felt like a decision that had any real point. The advent rebels were just a worse version of the loyalist with a few frigates being raised from the dead, which is nothing compared to having your planets produce free culture and raised allegiance. The rebel vasari got the starbase mobilization, which made no sense for them lore wise but whatever. Aside from having starbases be ships, the only noteworthy thing about them was having two or three flat stat bonuses from the advent and TEC research options. The loyalist factions emphasized what made the Advent/Vasari factions fun and interesting while their rebels felt more like playing the original factions with a few meaningless pieces strapped on.
yes, the auction style pirate targets took way too much concentration away from doing more important things. Paying them off only to be outbid at the last second because I was busy looking at the tech tree got old, and it is definitely my least favorite part of the game.
I’d recommend making pirates a minor faction with unpredictable alliances that players can decrease their chances of being attacked by a special diplomacy set while never wholly eliminating the threat unless they are defeated. Also, instead of increasingly more powerful waves on a timer, pirates should free travel in small packs harassing players. The strength and size of these packs should increase with the median average of the player(s)’ military strength. A player should however, only see the full might of the pirates around their own planets or in an outright declared war against them.
This would also allow for multiple pirate factions, instead of just one was pretty difficult to control even if you won the global auction. I often found myself targeted in Sins 1 despite not being the loser of the auction. This had to do with things like multiple star systems and multiple pirate bases in them, and you may as well just make all of that official with the minor factions system.
And you could have some pirate factions that are more inclined to act as mercenaries, and some that are just raiders that are difficult to negotiate with.
Well I would prefer to say that it's not so much what they did wrong, but rather things that could be improved. I'm sure the devs did the best they could with what they had at the time.
Yes, I Agree with others about pirates. The bid system eventually just becomes a bit annoying. Would be cool if they just roamed about and did random attacks here and there where factions are vulnerable to it, plundering resources, stealing ships, that kind of thing. Maybe through the diplomacy system they could be eventually be hired to do the mercenary thing.
One other thing that could be with exploring I think, is the collision mechanic if possible. It kind of makes sense that ships may bounce off each other while shields are active, but once they are down it would be cool if the ships smashed each other up. Could be hard to balance though granted, to prevent it all just becoming a big smash up derby, but worth exploring I think and really cool if it can be pulled off.
My 2cents worth. I would like the option to remove ship types and cap their numbers. I hated the over use of fighters, this way you can customize your experience without changing the balance of the game the Dev's want.
The AI. It was so good when it 1st came out, but with each expansion it got worse, never fulling using the new content added.
Hopefully it will be coded straight off the bate to use every thing.
I do agree with the sentiment about the Rebel factions. All the Loyalist ones were great and with obvious unique traits, so were the TEC Rebels. But Advent and Vasari Rebels were lacking, their character was not fleshed out enough or was not reflected in their gameplay.
I mean, with TEC Loyalists you would be building dual Starbases everywhere, shoring up with more trade ports, to increase your income to absurd levels, or Novalith yourself up, with Advent Loyalists you would be all about culture and taking over enemy planets with your Titan. As Vasari Loyalist you would go with the infamous DeathFleet strategy, which was incredibly fun.
But Advent or Vasari Rebels? I dont recall anything specific or unique about them - aside of shenanigans with Starbase Mobilization.
Interesting topic. What went wrong? I dont know really I really loved the game. I know the game is a real time strategy which makes subterfuge and politics always a bit difficult to do. However I really missed options in the agreements with other factions. If we look at the real world for example, why cant we just give weapons, or borrow them. Give/borrow vessels, stations outposts. I always like to support a war without my not yet known enemy knows of
I also found the economic part a bit hard to read. For example how much do i gain from my trade routes, how many do i lose etc. Similar for mining operations. It always felt like you just make some here and there without really being able to read the impact.
I want to be able to make MASSIVE fleets and not have the game crash or crawl to the point of a restart being needed.
One thing not mentioned so far is weapon and armor types. It is not readily apparent of the effectiveness of a certain weapon type against a certain armor types. I know there is a chart online were you can look this up, but that is not reasonable or good game design. I feel that the armor and weapon types need to be simplified or have tool tips to shows their effectiveness.
simplified… when i read this it fills me with rage… the ship description usually gives a hint. reading helps
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