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Deity Empires

If it's a video game it goes here.

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ColdSteel
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Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:38 am

This is newly released game on Steam that is a fantasy 4X with apparently a lot of depth.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/8890 ... y_Empires/

While the initial impression that it leaves is that it's more like the Dominions games, it actually is much closer to a modern Master of Magic.

DasTactic seems taken with the game and has done somewhere around 25 let's play videos on Youtube:

Dark Elves
Wood Elves

Enlarge Image

Enlarge Image

The good news is that the game is not early access and reviews are quite positive. The developer also seems intent on improving and adding to the game.

The bad news is that the price is $35 which seems steep for a new game with very basic graphics from a new developer. I don't know yet what their approach will be when it comes to sales but I've wish listed this for now and will see what happens during the holiday sales.

If anyone here decides to buy this, please post your impressions. I like what I've seen so far in the DasTactic vids a lot.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by LordMortis » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:25 am

While the initial impression that it leaves is that it's more like the Dominions games, it actually is much closer to a modern Master of Magic.
I never put too much thought in to it your post but Dominion really is a successor to MOM, they just never advertised it as such.

To the post, yeah, $35 sight unseen will require reviews and seeing some playthroughs before I'd buy. And I have already have too many games and not enough game time to give away $35 on a chance.

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ColdSteel
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:33 pm

After watching some of the linked let's plays, it really looks to me like MOM with more of everything. More units, more city buildings and city management, more magic, deeper crafting, more skills, more hero options (you can design your own heroes). Just more of everything. The gameplay itself looks like straight MOM. I've played a lot of Dominions and while MOM probably inspired some stuff in those games, it's very different in many, many ways from MOM. This on the other hand is not. It just appears to be MOM on steroids. It even has 10 difficulty settings. I'm having a really hard time not pulling the trigger on it despite the dumb pricing.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:46 pm

You guys are a making this hard to pass by. If I was not smothered with work I would probably have bought it already.

MOM with more of everything sounds divine.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:54 pm

I took the plunge (It's probably my turn). I was looking at a bleak holiday gaming scenario with Xenonauts 2 closed beta not opening until next week.

I have started 5 games or so - taken each game to 5 or 6 cities. I have NOT watched all of the gameplay videos - I can't really watch golf, bowling or PC gaming.

I would wait for Page 2 for impressions per tradition but I don't think there are enough TB Fantasy 4X Fans to make it that far anymore.

I am happy so far with the game. The value equation at full price is dicey - but if this goes on sale I recommend it.
My quick impressions for anyone considering this pre -Thanksgiving:

1. It's a very MOM-like 4X. Except for no heroes and hex v square grid (or at least that is what I remember)
2. The graphics aren't great but I never mind because of the tactics.
3. The tactics are deep - lots of options, lots of units. Limited AI impact here.
4. Magic - I am not sure yet. I do not see lots of spells but this may be my play style (I like to bash not cast).
5. Items are not overly powerful - so far for me. Items seem totally random - some games tons of them, some games I get very few. They are rarely useful to me directly. On turn 5 I have gotten a 400 mana value club in one game. In another game I never got an item until after turn 100.
6. Some AI issues on Normal as noted below.

Note: I do not see any notes on the new update yet but I do see that it added a new "Choose Enemies" screen like Civ uses.

Difficulty: I play on Normal AI difficulty. I will probably be upping this since I am beating everyone every time so far.


**************Very Mild Spoiler zone below************

Things I have seen the AI do wrong (on Normal):

A. Probing with fog of war. The AI seems completely vulnerable to hidden units. You can force the AI over commit or draw them into ambushes at will by showing one unit when the rest are hidden. AI does not probe, it does not react.

B. Non-optimal tactics. The AI seems unsure how to fight a TB battle sometimes. Fantasy General, CIV (any?) or MOM did a better job of matching up Rock/Paper/Scissors than DE does (so far) on Normal.

C. AI declaring war stupidly. This all seems to be based on expansion room and unit count not applied strength. I often have 1 real army and a bit of garrison in each town - the AI is always starting crap that it cannot finish by declaring war only to get crushed by my 1 stack of 50% infantry and 50% ranged.

D. Not following up on my weakness. The way a game like this works is that the attacker is weak after a close battle (units with health down, low mana, etc). The AI never seems to counter-punch me like I do them - mopping me up after a close battle.

I'm not saying the AI is trash. It may just be subject to my particular style of play - but I don't think its only me.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Freyland » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Thanks for posting. I would say your "nit-picks" are pretty game-breaking, for me. Please let us know if the higher difficulty levels improve those issues.
I don't remember where I read this, Cort, maybe it was in the last patch notes, but they said the UAZ really handles the best when... the wheels are actually touching the ground.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:34 am

I played some last night post-patch on #3.Hard_AI and I can report that my complaint C "Declaring war stupidly" did not happen any longer.

The AI sill has not counter-punched my weak stack (D) like a real person would but it is doing a great job of invading boarder towns in the disputed zones now.

This is progress in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

This game does get a 3-tie score - the first in a long while from me. (The number of neckties that accumulate in my home office because I play THAT quickly after returning home). My routine to return ties to my closet has always been marginal at best.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Jag » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:39 am

Cautiously watching this. Price point it definitely high for such poor graphics. But you have me very intrigued with MOM.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:08 pm

Love your rating system yojim.

That said, I have no idea how many times ties are mediocre vs good. Lil'help?

edit: times are not ties
Last edited by GreenGoo on Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by LordMortis » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:32 pm

The rating system also entertained me and even drew me in to thinking maybe I do want this game...

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:59 pm

I recommend that you wait for a sale. Don't hate me because you paid full price (lots of other reasons to hate me, after all).

Having said that I am having a lot of fun with my newly changed settings:

1. AI set to 3_Hard
This makes the opponents a lot more fun to tangle with. I did not see a huge tactical chagne - but on the world map the AI seems smarter (could also have been the recent update that I still can't find the details for).
2. Lair Density set to 45 - up from 25 (Lair difficulty left on 1)
This gives me A LOT of dungeons around the map and it slows the rabid growth of the AI (the first is good, the second may be bad long-term for competition).
3. Map size set to 60 x 60.
This is up from 40 by 60 default - a bit more room.
4. Players set to 5 opponents.
This seem to be just right (for now) with the harder AI.
5. Sound volume down so I can play music on VLC
There is a very non-obvious "8 tooth-gear" in the lower right (left lower corner of the right-side interface menu bar) that open up an option panel that let me turn the volume down. I then ran some old OGG/MP3 files in VLC in a different window - tweaking the volume of each so that the game battle sounds could be hear over the music.

I am playing this over For The King and Into the Breach right now. Its not even a close contest for my play time. I have played Dominions since #3 but I always felt that Dominions games "got away from me" and turned into a management simulation (not the fun kind) at some point. So far (up to 8 cities) these games are feeling manageable the way that CIV feels mid-game.

Stuff I saw tonight that I really liked:
Spells (spell effects?) on higher level Items (I have no idea if I can make these at all - I don't think I can). Some VERY powerful items (like a Giant slaying Dwarven hammer worth 6k mana) get dropped now then and I like this idea. It feels a bit like Natuk did with the the item properties being a "different system" from the DnD I grew up with. I find myself kicking in "doors" just in case those 3 bears have a magic ring on the floor of cave.
Taking over an enemy city lets your units (if they hang around) have a % chance each turn of getting that Civ's unit bonus (Mountain walking, etc). At one point I got run out of a conqured city but one of my units picked up a souvenir bonus attribute. That made me smile.

One Tip:
I learned to spend my unit upgrades on the "To hit" bonus. Most of my units start off with a to hit % in the 20s. Damage doesn't matter when you are not connecting. I have done much better since I focused on upping my To Hit %.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:09 am

GreenGoo wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:08 pm
Love your rating system yojim.

That said, I have no idea how many times are mediocre vs good. Lil'help?
Its good. For a game with 1990 graphics, it may be better than good.

I want to support the idea of a Developer who didn't spend the whole budget on graphics. But I am so used to pretty games that it can be jarring at times. I got all kind of judge-y comments from my teenage son; "What are you playing!?!?"

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:03 am

Ooooo, this does look interesting!
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:39 pm

I was sure hoping this would be on the Steam Thanksgiving sale because any halfway decent discount at all and I'd be picking it up. But alas, nothing. The developer hates selling his game, apparently.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Mackeson » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:24 am

Don't be ridiculous its just been released its perfectly normal for the developer to want to make some money while its new. Bad timing for a release if anything as it annoys self-entitled people like you.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by WYBaugh » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:59 am

Mackeson wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:24 am
Don't be ridiculous its just been released its perfectly normal for the developer to want to make some money while its new. Bad timing for a release if anything as it annoys self-entitled people like you.
Join just to call out one of our long time members? Hope that made you feel better.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:37 am

One more small nit on a very good game:

Items are not usable by just anyone.

I see the option to create 105 different types of items. Most of these (the weapons) seem to be usable by only 1 unit type. There are a lot of units.
Not a problem if I am creating items but drops have a low chance of being useful. In my latest game I have never converted an item to mana (recycle). So on turn 300 or so I have 19 items in my vault. Only 4 of them are usable (2 boots a light armor and a helm).

I have a "Fire Giant Sword of Butchering" (not as cool as it sounds) that I cannot use - my eleven armies are bereft of fire giant mercenaries.

The good news is that I can expand my vault (and I do), but I remember MOM having more "relaxed" rules regarding who can wield what.

I see the "fantasy logic" of this: I would not be able to lift a giant's sword. Some of you will probably consider this a feature. But for me its a small slice of hard cheese.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Stuie » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:43 am

Damn you people I can't afford a game right now! But this looks too good to pass up.... Making a willpower save roll...

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Baroquen
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Baroquen » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:13 pm

I've been able to resist the forum effect thus far, but on the other hand, I keep reading the thread. Eventually, I'll cave.

(And welcome Mackeson.)

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Freyland » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:18 pm

Baroquen wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:13 pm
I've been able to resist the forum effect thus far, but on the other hand, I keep reading the thread. Eventually, I'll cave.

(And welcome Mackeson Fantastic first impressions Mackeson.)
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Sun Nov 25, 2018 9:59 am

Mackeson wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:24 am
Don't be ridiculous its just been released its perfectly normal for the developer to want to make some money while its new. Bad timing for a release if anything as it annoys self-entitled people like you.
If you'd actually read this thread, you'd see that my complaint is that the game is ridiculously overpriced for it's niche and production values, which puts potential buyers (like me) off and greatly reduces the developer's chances to make any money. This therefore reduces the success chances of the game.

The game currently has a grand total of 16 reviews on Steam 2 months after release. Steamspy says it had 18 concurrent players yesterday. Yes, it's normal for the developer to want to make some money on a new release and more power to them. However, the developer most assuredly is NOT making any money. This is either because of their lack of due diligence to market research or just plain old pig-headed stubbornness about the value of their game.

I don't know why you joined this forum just to call me self-entitled. Perhaps you are in fact the developer. If so, that's a pretty cowardly way to go about things here. If you are indeed the developer, perhaps if you'd explain your pricing rational here or in one of the posts on Steam that are (very politely) complaining about the high price, we can understand the thought process. Many other developers have done this for their games and it helps defuse things. Saying nothing at all does not help the cause. If data is needed, a sale at around $20 should provide some good sales feedback to determine if a lower price would boost sales and thereby, the game's exposure to more people.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Stuie » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:25 am

I caved.

Most of the reason I caved was because of the modding potential. With some graphics work this game will be much easier on the eyes, and it seems that the core mechanics are already in place for a great game.

One thing I didn't like was the solid squares behind the units, so I asked in the Steam forum if it was possible to mod them. A couple days later the developer added the ability in the beta path. :D

So now my unit bases look like this: Image

There are others doing work on the overall graphics, but the blocky unit backgrounds were what was bugging me most.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:28 am

Stuie wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:25 am
One thing I didn't like was the solid squares behind the units
Yeah, I think those squares look terrible as well. I like your modded one much better. Is that something you did yourself?
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by RMC » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:26 am

Stuie wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:25 am
I caved.

Most of the reason I caved was because of the modding potential. With some graphics work this game will be much easier on the eyes, and it seems that the core mechanics are already in place for a great game.

One thing I didn't like was the solid squares behind the units, so I asked in the Steam forum if it was possible to mod them. A couple days later the developer added the ability in the beta path. :D

So now my unit bases look like this: Image

There are others doing work on the overall graphics, but the blocky unit backgrounds were what was bugging me most.
Looks like the Developer added this? Wow, that is very nice, and I might just buy this game, if the developer is being that quick to add to things from feedback.

Is the developer active on the forums, and interacting with folks? I love MOM, and Dominion games. The graphics are what they are, but if there is that many options, and they are working on the graphics, then maybe this goes up a notch on my must buy list.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Stuie » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:11 pm

RMC wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:26 am
Is the developer active on the forums, and interacting with folks? I love MOM, and Dominion games. The graphics are what they are, but if there is that many options, and they are working on the graphics, then maybe this goes up a notch on my must buy list.
Yes - he appears to be pretty active on the Steam forum for the game. He is trying to open up as much of the graphics to modding as possible... I guess graphics are not his strength. LOL

The actual mechanics seem pretty strong and rather deep (watch the DasTactics videos for more on that). The AI seems to be a work in progress as well.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:21 am

I ended up taking the plunge and have played quite a bit the past couple days.

1. Many surface things mimic Master of Magic, but once you are into the game, the differences are legion. As I posted elsewhere, it comes across to me as Masters of Magic 6, where the developer has evolved the game systems through many generations, yet left graphics in some past decade.

2. The game is deep beyond deep. Each system (like food production) has level upon level of complexity. You can play ignoring the complexity, but if, say, you want to do something about a lack of food/city growth, you have all sorts of tools at your disposal.

3. The game is obviously unfinished. The in-game encyclopedia, or whatever it is called, has entire topics which simply say "coming soon." Other important things are in, but as far as I can see, undocumented. I am having a very good time with the game, but in my opinion it should be labeled Early Access. (However, as I see it, the distinctions between Beta, Early Access, Release, and Patched Release are disappearing, whether we like it or not.) But that in-game encyclopedia (F1) is really quite good for a lot of topics, and hopefully will be brought up to quality on everything, eventually.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:40 pm

Its good to not be alone.

I still need to figure out the difference between finding spell books and finding gems.

I still cannot figure out how to spell infuse items. I find them already spelled but I have no idea if/how I can make them that way (beyond the fire/frost/acid on the forge item menu).

One neat thing I noticed last night is that if I know a spell (fire weapon) then that effect is much cheaper when forging. This kind of detail endears a game to me.

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:38 am

I have continued to play this game quite a bit, and have come to the conclusion that I misidentified the game's central weakness. It is not so much that things are undocumented, but rather that important information is provided in a very disorganized way. Sometimes in the F1 help file (and within that help file, sometimes in the unorganized "tips section). Sometimes in the unit or city screen. Sometimes a right click over something within the unit or city screen. But those screens have panels, and some of these page and some of these scroll, and there is limited logic to what information is where within that unit or city screen. And some things are implied rather than stated in words -- some right clicks show how a number (say income or attack rating) is derived, such that you can figure out the inner workings.

Basically, almost every time I have asked for information, someone, often the dev, has shown me where the info is... but more times than not, I think to myself that I never would have found that on my own. But I am among the worst at figuring out UI's on my own, others might find it a lot easier.

That aside, the most recent update made the graphics a little better.

Very enjoyable game now, and I think it will eventually be great. For those willing to wade through that interface.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Baroquen » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:30 pm

dbemont wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:38 am

Very enjoyable game now, and I think it will eventually be great. For those willing to wade through that interface.
Do you think a wiki or a 3rd party info site might substitute for the game's weakness in this area? Or is the game so niche that such a depository is unlikely to happen?

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:06 pm

Baroquen wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:30 pm
dbemont wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:38 am

Very enjoyable game now, and I think it will eventually be great. For those willing to wade through that interface.
Do you think a wiki or a 3rd party info site might substitute for the game's weakness in this area? Or is the game so niche that such a depository is unlikely to happen?
Honestly, I do not know. The developer posted recently that although it might be bad business, at the moment he is more focused on issues like replay value than on making it accessible for new players. And I think you need to reach some critical mass of players before a wiki is likely to amount to much. But I am terrible at guessing what will attract a following, and I am even worse at guessing how overwhelming others will find an interface.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Stuie » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:01 am

$24.49 on the Steam sale. :D

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:45 pm

Yeah, that's much more reasonable so I'll be picking it up. Can't wait to try it out.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Baroquen » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Baroquen wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:13 pm
I've been able to resist the forum effect thus far, but on the other hand, I keep reading the thread. Eventually, I'll cave.
I lasted a month. The sale did me in. Going to play now!

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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Daehawk » Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:08 pm

I see my Master of Magic box from here. Good to see games like it are still able to be made.
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:39 am

I have over 200 hours in this now (largely due to this being playable on my laptop so it gets lots of evening time in hotels).

This game has come a long way and its improving weekly now. A few mods are in the Steam workshop now. My opinion is shifting form "wait for sale" to "buy". The change has been the willingness of the Developer to work on this product, the mods and the improvements I have seen.

Note: I had to enable beta participation on the Steam menu (R-click) to install mods.
I have only really tried "Gorgeous Minerals" and I like it a lot. I had an epic lake map the other night full of fish (+1000 food ea) so it changed my start strategy.

A few (small) things bug me about this still:
1. The obtuse CTRL+R-Click to unselect a build queue item it too much - why not simply R-Click?
2. The Exit Game menu item is too close to the Save Game menu item. Save scummers like me do a fair bit of saving.
3. The Developer does not update the "View Deity Empires update history" tab in Steam (using the News area) like other Steam Developers do. I get a splash screen when starting or loading a game immediately after an update - this is not enough for me. In a strategy game I want to know what circumstances changed to know if my plans need to change accordingly.

What I think has improved with the recent updates:
1. The AI is better. I play with a lot of AI players and many of them get strangled around their starting city. But those who break out are more dangerous with each update.
2. Defend combat action is a nice strategy when you are waiting for an opponent behind walls.
3. There is music now (sadly, I have gotten used to listening to audio books instead).

I think the magic item creation area has some room for improvement. I routinely find items that cannot be made. Am I some kind of great wizard king or not? If so, why can't I create some Tree Ent Claws of Charm, etc.

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dbemont
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:48 am

Yojimbo wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:39 am
My opinion is shifting form "wait for sale" to "buy".
Yes, this has become one of my basic rotation games. Actually, the only thing that has bothered me over the long haul has been the size of combat maps. It can make trivial battles time consuming and take away from the flow of the game. Kind of pushes me to automate more battles than I would really prefer, especially since the maps are not really that interesting.

But everything on the strategic map and the battles themselves are excellent.
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Yojimbo
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:50 pm

PSA: On sale for $17.99. This a is a buy at that price for sure.

I just lost a game whereby my Eleven fishing empire collapsed when some dirty Orcs started rolling up my boarders. I had one army that had all my good units in it. By the time they marched home there was nothing left but ashes.

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ColdSteel
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by ColdSteel » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:16 pm

I've finally gotten around to playing this some more and have been experimenting with etherealized and materialized deity starts. I thought materialized might be the way to go early game but everyone tells me etherealized is the way to go from day one. So that leaves me with a question. how you get get XP and levels for your deity when they are ethereal? When materialized you get it though combat as per usual.
"This game is best played with a warm cup of Folger's coffee in your hands, so you can actually smell the oppression while you relive the greatest period of all time. The period when white people discovered the world, and decided they didn't like it." - EUIV Steam user review

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dbemont
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by dbemont » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:44 am

ColdSteel wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:16 pm
I've finally gotten around to playing this some more and have been experimenting with etherealized and materialized deity starts. I thought materialized might be the way to go early game but everyone tells me etherealized is the way to go from day one. So that leaves me with a question. how you get get XP and levels for your deity when they are ethereal? When materialized you get it though combat as per usual.
Yeah, I have almost always gone the etherealized route. One time I tried materialized and realized just how long you'd have to stay materialized to see any great benefit, and the sacrifice just seemed too great to me.
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Yojimbo
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Re: Deity Empires

Post by Yojimbo » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:58 pm

ColdSteel wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:16 pm
I've finally gotten around to playing this some more and have been experimenting with etherealized and materialized deity starts. I thought materialized might be the way to go early game but everyone tells me etherealized is the way to go from day one. So that leaves me with a question. how you get get XP and levels for your deity when they are ethereal? When materialized you get it though combat as per usual.
I start in the either and I stay in the either. From there I can be involved (Casting spells) in every combat until I run out of battle mana. If I am present I can only effect one fight at a time (I think - I only materilzed in a few games weeks ago and my memory is fuzzy). I do gain experience with spells in any schools that I cast in while combat happens. But I think my avatar remains puny.

Mid to late game I am fighting several battles per round and being "almost omnipresent" seems better than being present at one fight.

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