Sins of a Solar Empire -- $10 -- awesome game and good online multiplayer

Oct 30, 2004
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If you haven't played Sins of a Solar Empire, which is an innovative space warfare 4x-RTS, then this is your chance. It's currently available for $10 over Impulse (which is like Steam).

http://www.impulsedriven.com/sin

This game is a lot of fun in both single player and especially in online multiplayer and it is DRM-free. (The only DRM is that you need to have a legit and registered CD-key in order to update it via Impulse to the latest version.) If you buy the game, be sure to visit the Sins discussion forum:

http://forums.SinsofaSolarEmpire.com

If you like the game, then you'll want to get the Entrenchment expansion, especially if you play it in online multiplayer.

Stardock and Ironclad are PC-only companies so by purchasing Sins you are supporting PC-gaming and also DRM-free gaming.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
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Good game, but mostly geared towards single player. You can make a map with as many stars and planets as you want until your computer grinds to a halt, but there is a point when the AI (or other players) will come in behind you and reclaim planets and your fleet is limited in size not proportional to the number of planets you control. To get a 30 minute MP match you would need to play on a very small map (or against a very bad player), larger maps can take hours and there are tipping points where a opponent may feel he has lost all hope of winning and quit.

For $10, I'd say it's worth it for most people who like RTS games.
 
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Most MP games don't take longer than 1.5 hours, including the 5v5's. The online multiplayer part is a lot of fun once you know what you're doing.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
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Oh, and Sins is a good Co-op game. There is no campaign, just skirmish maps (pre created, random, custom). Online/LAN is not limited to PvP, and teams can be locked or unlocked. The AI does retarded things quite often but it will still chew your ass out if you underestimate it. It will also respond to your tactics sometimes (such as bum rushing siege frigates through a undefended front to rape your rear lines).

The expansion "Entrenchment" mainly caters to turtling. It adds new units, tech and dev created map with the main focus on defense. The game changer added is the "Star Base" which can be upgraded with research/upgrades to act as anything from a meat grinder for fleets to massive trade hubs for improved economy.
 
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Here's a review that does a good job showing the game and going over the basics. Note that online multiplayer games don't take forever like the inexperienced (at the time) reviewer suggests; your average 5v5 doesn't last much longer than 1.5 hours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xY-NSNhgydY

It's a slick game fully designed for the PC. By supporting Stardock and Ironclad you're helping to support DRM-free PC gaming.
 

Elcs

Diamond Member
Apr 27, 2002
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I am tempted for I own Homeworld 1 + 2 + Cataclysm....

I am tempted for I have a love of space and the glorious polished graphics of space based games...

I am tempted for I love many space ships going pew-pew...

But no singleplayer turns me off entirely and I do not fancy online multiplayer.

May be a game just to add to my collection, oohhh ahhh at for a few hours then put down. For £6 it's not bad.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
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I am tempted for I own Homeworld 1 + 2 + Cataclysm....

I am tempted for I have a love of space and the glorious polished graphics of space based games...

I am tempted for I love many space ships going pew-pew...

But no singleplayer turns me off entirely and I do not fancy online multiplayer.

May be a game just to add to my collection, oohhh ahhh at for a few hours then put down. For £6 it's not bad.

It's easy to compare Sins to HW, but that would be wrong. The Y axis is very limited and rarely used and you do not manage battle anywhere near like in HW. It's all about what your fleet is made up of, what you are facing and micro managing special abilities mainly on your capital ships. This however is not bad for Sins as you will spend most of your time managing your empire and a HW type battle would require way too much attention. Though in the end, all the HW games are much better IMHO (I don't know how a HW3 has not been made yet).

Also note that you can play single player, just on skermish. Better if you have friends to play with (co-op vs AI or PvP) though, I myself only play co-op with friends.
 
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But no singleplayer turns me off entirely and I do not fancy online multiplayer.

The game could definitely use a single player campaign. However, of course you can just play games against the AI on all of the different maps and later go on to get custom maps and mods. You can even design your own maps with the easy-to-use Galaxy Forge editor.

I'm really not sure what a campaign would bring to the game other than that lots of people want one. I suppose it could function as an extended tutorial. ("In this mission, figure out how to defeat your computer opponent's Kodiak heavy cruiser fleet.") The game is going to be about building your empire and defeating your opponents on the various maps, but you can do that just fine without cheesy cut scenes and a background story. (The background story from the intro is actually pretty good and in that sense the game really does cry out for a campaign to expand on that story.)
 
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lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
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not a good price if you end up getting the rest of the series cause they'll nickel and dime the hell out of you.
 

ZzZGuy

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2006
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and what's this big ass "no drm" joke doing in the OP.

?

Sins simply has no DRM. Nothing.

The closest thing to DRM would be using impulse to patch it, though I don't know if they put that into effect as they had several patches up on their web site.

No CD check, no encryption to prevent copying the CD, no serial number (cept to register with impulse if you fee like it), no online activation, no system limit, and of course no DRM program of any kind. Pirated copies would be identical to what you'd buy in a store.

Oh, and here is a link to the demo.
http://www.gamershell.com/download_23790.shtml
This demo includes four tutorials, two small maps with up to two AI players, one randomly generated medium map with up to 3 AI players, and 90 minutes of playing time (single-player only).
 

Dark4ng3l

Diamond Member
Sep 17, 2000
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I have Galactic Civilizations 2 and I loved that game. I think i'm going to give this a try. And yes stardock has absolutely no DRM on their games.
 

mmntech

Lifer
Sep 20, 2007
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?

Sins simply has no DRM. Nothing.

The closest thing to DRM would be using impulse to patch it, though I don't know if they put that into effect as they had several patches up on their web site.

No CD check, no encryption to prevent copying the CD, no serial number (cept to register with impulse if you fee like it), no online activation, no system limit, and of course no DRM program of any kind. Pirated copies would be identical to what you'd buy in a store.

Oh, and here is a link to the demo.
http://www.gamershell.com/download_23790.shtml

Stardock even marketed the hell out of the fact Sins had no-DRM. They were mocked for it by the big devs but the game sold quite well IIRC.

Stardock had published a bill of gamers rights at one point attacking the DRM schemes used by the big devs.

It's nice to have a game company not treat you, the legit buyer, like a common thief.
 
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not a good price if you end up getting the rest of the series cause they'll nickel and dime the hell out of you.

They'll only nickel and dime you to the tune of $10 for each expansion which aren't necessary to enjoy and play (and to update) the original game. You can even play the original in online multiplayer against other human opponents. (However, most people who play online against human opponents are playing in the Entrenchment expansion since it adds extra strategic considerations.)

and what's this big ass "no drm" joke doing in the OP.
It doesn't have SecuROM, CDKilla, Starforce, or any other crap on it nor does it require you to insert the CD to play. The only form of DRM the game has is that if you want to patch it up to the latest version (which is required to play it in online multiplayer over Ironclad Online and completely optional) you need to register your CD-Key and download the benign program Impulse (which is like Steam). It's easy to do and you don't need to have Impulse running in order to play the game. I only run Impulse when I want to patch it. (The game receives small tweaks to the units every couple of months mostly for online multiplayer unit balance issues.)
 
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?The closest thing to DRM would be using impulse to patch it, though I don't know if they put that into effect as they had several patches up on their web site.

You can patch up to v1.05 with those patches. The current version is 1.181.
 
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how does it compare pace-wise to 4X turn based strategy games?

It moves faster and there is a much, much greater emphasis on combat. It isn't anything like Civilization or Alpha Centuari (I haven't played GalCiv) where you control exactly which square of land is to be mined or which one is to be turned into a farm or a mine (which I always found rather boring). That kind of micromanagement has been completely eliminated. Also, you don't build Wonders or Secret Projects (though you can search for magical artifacts if you want to gamble money on it).

What you do manage are decisions about where to expand, what to defend and how heavily, what types of space structures to build (such as labs which are required to do tech tree research or frigate factories which you need to build ships or combat-related structures such as turret platforms and repair bays), what types of research to do, whether you should focus on strengthening your economy or increasing the size of your fleet (and what units to make). You also need to decide how to develop your planets (whether to increase the population and tax revenue, increase the number of structures around the planet, whether to increase the planet's hit points so that it's harder for an opponent to take it from you, etc.)

There are three races with their own set of two or three medium-sized tech trees (military research, economic research, and in Entrenchment, defense/starbase research) and you need to research all sorts of things to progress in the game (such as the ability to build different types of ships or to colonize certain types of planets or to be able to build trade ports or broadcast centers to spread your empire's culture). However, you cannot focus solely on your economy and your research because you also need a fleet of ships! Money and material resources will normally be in short supply for you and the length of time it takes to do things (such as researching something) is a factor. Perhaps it makes more sense to get lots of ships rather than research. Note that in order to increase the size of your fleet beyond certain size limit points, you also increase the amount of "taxation" or "inefficiency" needed to support your fleet--so you don't generate as much income and resources as you did at a smaller fleet size. This really makes it trickier--to get bigger your income starts to decrease. (All you can do is expand the size of your empire and strengthen your overall economy...)

Unlike a real 4x you will need to manage the units in combat, which is very important. (All ships move near the repair bay. All ships focus fire on the enemy capital ship, etc.) This is, at root, a space combat game and you can only win by militarily crushing your opponents. Everything else that you do in the game such as developing your economy is ultimately geared towards building a large and powerful fleet. Much of your energy and focus will be about what ships to build, how many to build, where and when to attack, and managing your units in combat.

Part of what you need to do is to attain a good sense of when you need to "peak"--when will you need as large and as powerful of a fleet as you can get? If you can hold off on building a fleet for a while (and if it makes sense) then you can develop a strong economy and you'll be able to build a larger fleet later in the game than if you had focused on building a large fleet earlier in the game. Of course, if you misjudge when and where you'll need your fleet your opponents could begin conquering parts of your empire while you are vulnerable which will eat into your economy. Having a large fleet also helps you take your opponents real estate, hurting him and strengthening your economy. Economic development is an investment that carriers an immediate negative impact (you can't spend the money on ships) and a long-term benefit. Sometimes it might make sense not to colonize as many planets as you can (immediate negative cost) in order to focus on building ships for combat.

The amount of micromanagement needed to be good at this game is nothing compared to what you need to do for Starcraft or other traditional RTS games; the pace of combat is also a little slower. (That doesn't mean that you do not need to become proficient at the micromanagement--its' very important if you play against human competition. You need to know which enemy ships to attack, where to move your ships, when to retreat or have a damaged capital ship run away, when to use your ships' special abilities (like shield restore), etc.)

I probably haven't described 1/4 of the things you need to do and to consider in this game; it has a learning curve and if you play it at a high level, you will always need to make decisions that could have grave consequences later on.

I don't think there's really anything else like Sins out there. The boring aspects of micromanagement have been kept to a minimum. This game is just chock full of strategic considerations that you need to make, at least if you end up playing it in online multiplayer against human opponents. (The AI isn't bad, but it's much more forgiving than a real human opponent.) Note that you can also play the game online with human allies against AI opponents which is probably best for people who are just venturing online for the first time. (Your average humans v. humans game takes under 1.5 hours with epic games perhaps lasting longer.)
 
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lupi

Lifer
Apr 8, 2001
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They'll only nickel and dime you to the tune of $10 for each expansion which aren't necessary to enjoy and play (and to update) the original game. You can even play the original in online multiplayer against other human opponents. (However, most people who play online against human opponents are playing in the Entrenchment expansion since it adds extra strategic considerations.)

It doesn't have SecuROM, CDKilla, Starforce, or any other crap on it nor does it require you to insert the CD to play. The only form of DRM the game has is that if you want to patch it up to the latest version (which is required to play it in online multiplayer over Ironclad Online and completely optional) you need to register your CD-Key and download the benign program Impulse (which is like Steam). It's easy to do and you don't need to have Impulse running in order to play the game. I only run Impulse when I want to patch it. (The game receives small tweaks to the units every couple of months mostly for online multiplayer unit balance issues.)


the only, oh the lulz.
 
Oct 30, 2004
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What's so horrible about having to pay for an expansion? $10 for the original Sins is still a great deal compared to the prices it has sold at before. Eventually people will probably be able to purchase Sins plus all of the expansions for $10, but who wants to wait that long?

I'll say this. If you purchase Sins and you enjoy it and you want to play the game in online multiplayer against human opponents and you enjoy doing that, then go out and get Entrenchment. At that point, dropping $10 on it won't bother you and you know that it will be worth it. ($10 is nothing if you play the game all the time and derive a large amount of value and pleasure from it.)

On the other hand, if you only play it in single player then you can just get add free mods to the game to expand it.
 
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Bateluer

Lifer
Jun 23, 2001
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When did 10 dollars for an expansion become overpriced? EA usually charges 30 to 50 dollars depending on the game. Blizzard is likely going to charge 60 dollars for each of the three SC2 trilogy, plus monthly B.net fees, WoW expansions cost around 50 when they first are released. SOE's EQ2 expansions usually run 30, though they also include everything from all previous releases. Hell, Microsoft charged 60 dollars for some Halo expansions.

10 dollars for the Sins expansions isn't a bad deal at all and Stardock's attitude towards game development and pro-consumer stance should be rewarded with dollars.
 

Kntx

Platinum Member
Dec 11, 2000
2,270
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+1 for sins. I play on ico online as tomato81.

The 5v5 games can take a long time if you're playing against jerks who don't surrender but overall people surrender when it's obvious that all is lost.