Hmmm. Forum rules say mention the version, but the game doesn't give its own version number? Hang on while I open my package manager. Okay, the installed version of the package is 0.4.4-2+b1.
EDIT: When I enabled title bars in the window manager, the title bar also shows some version info: FreeOrion v0.4.4 [SVN 7640] CMake.
First thing I want to say: AWESOME game! Seriously, you guys did a great job. I've run into a few things that you may want to know about, but first of all I wanted to say this is good.
So far I've played about a halfdozen games. I've been playing as humans with one AI opponent (which is how I start learning any 4x game). I got reamed on a couple of early games by an opponent who inhabited planets (and asteroid belts!) which I couldn't even colonize, so for the last few games I've been outposting literally every planet and every asteroid belt in systems where I have a colony, in order to deny potential opponents later entry into my empire. When it turned out that I could build useful things at those outposts, that was a bonus!
My most recent game was dead lucky. I ran into two planets with caretaker fruit and three with probiotic soup within five warps of my homeworld. None of them were habitable until a bit later when I colonized them all on the same turn. after that I was spamming colony ships at the game literally as fast as I could build them. Well, colony ships and the cruisers they needed to get through all the monsters. And the monsters were getting tough to deal with by the end of the game.
I had set the galaxy to be very large, 450 systems. There were also lots of monsters and lots of specials, so monsters were a constant fight. But if there was an AI opponent in the last game, I never ran into it. It was turn 520 and I had about 150 systems (but over 400 inhabited worlds and another 200 outposts) when I won the game via research.
As to the reason I never ran into the AI opponent? I don't know. Many times during the game though, the message window complained of an AI script error: The message from the logfile is:
2015-01-22 21:28:14,390 DEBUG Client : (HumanClientFSM) PlayingGame.PlayerChat: AI_Error: AI script error in "calculate_priorities": "43"
Code: Select all
grep "calculate_priorities" freeorion.log | wc
With the size of the galaxy I expected to run into the AI opponent a bit later than usual - I was trying a playstyle focusing on early research as much as possible in order to take advantage of the galaxy size/delay before reaching opponent, and the monsters may have been a problem for the opponent AI as much as they were for me. Late in the game I was running into absolutely enormous Dyson Forests and swarms of up to a halfdozen huge Juggernauts at a time, which are circumstances so outside the ordinary run of things that I don't know if an opponent AI would be able to figure out how to handle them.
Other feedback: The interface is very sluggish. When I move the mouse, the pointer trails behind my movement so badly that it sometimes takes a full second to be sure I'm pointing at what I want to point at. This makes it extra-tedious to do things like seeing what is and isn't already built at a colony and managing the production queue. It also makes it take too long to switch back and forth between situation-report view and production-queue view (which are my two main views on the game), especially when the icons for them are at opposite ends of the screen some 3000 pixels apart. I would appreciate a snappier interface or keyboard shortcuts or a smallish unified control panel that shifts between the primary views.
The planet list and system views come up without habitability information, which is virtually the only important information about a planet early in the game. Seriously, if we can have icons for ancient ruins, caretaker fruit, computronium moons, etc, is it too much to ask for an icon that says "HABITABLE TO YOUR SPECIES" ?
Managing the buid queue is annoying. Micromanagement is appropriate for the early game, but somewhere around midgame I would really like to be able to have some macromanagement capabilities like, if I have just researched a more advanced kind of industrial center. I'd like to add it to a "generic planetary build queue" so that every time I'd otherwise waste production, these will get enqueued, at places that can build them, until no production is being wasted. Later in the game I'd also like a "generic solar-system build queue" where you list things that you'd like to build one of at every solar system (like a transformer).
It would be nice if the "things you can build" list had a filter for things that would be useless if built at a given place, like building a transformer or a shipyard when one already exists (or is enqueued) in the same system. Or for things that you only need one of per empire (like a gene bank or a megalith). Basically anything we could do to keep the "things you can build" list short and focused on things that would actually be useful to build would be a win. It would be nice to have a user-defined filter - essentially a list of things to not even bother mentioning on the "things you can build" menu because the user has made a decision not to use them in this game (or, perhaps, because they are on the "generic planetary build queue" and the user doesn't want to bother with them other than by having put them there).
Also, why does it allow you to enqueue buildings that are already in the build queue for a given planet, or colony bases/outpost bases at systems that have no uninhabited or un-outposted planets? That seems like an interface failure.
I'm constantly going into "ship designs" to eliminate strictly inferior alternatives which are only producible at places where something better can be produced. For example, when I discover cryonic colony ships and colony bases, I no longer want to build regular colony ships or colony bases, ever, under any circumstances. When I get Scout II, I no longer want to build another Scout I, ever, under any circumstances. Otherwise the build list gets increasingly stupid and error-prone, especially with the 'vague' response of the mouse pointer. When I eliminate a ship design, the game should eliminate all such vessels on which production has not yet started from the build queue. It would be yet nicer if I could upgrade planned builds from the ship design menu. For example, if I could say "Every Scout I now in the pipeline, but not yet under construction, should be replaced by a Scout II." before eliminating the scout I design.
In some cases messages are misleading. For example after researching "domesticated megafauna" I got a message that said I could domesticate monsters, so I went into a system that had a monster, and it immediately destroyed that fleet. D'oh! It didn't actually mean you could domesticate monsters! It meant that, if you then built an orbital incubator, you could build/grow living ships!
A few new basic ship designs would be beneficial; For example, I absolutely hate it when I've had warships over an enemy planet, pounding it into submission, for 20 turns in a row, and gotten messages for the last ten turns that the planet is neutralized, and then I go in with 99 troop ships and EVERY DAMN ONE OF THEM gets destroyed by mines! What the hell does "neutralized" even mean in that case?! My warships can't clear a path for them? Can't escort them? There are no minesweepers in the game? So I go into ship designs, again, and specify an asteroid-hull troopship with a few slots devoted to armor and shields.... Likewise late in the game I need colony ships with armor and shields, or else they die in huge numbers too.
Managing planets individually is also annoying. I'd prefer to be able to set the research/industry/growth/logistics parameters for the empire as a whole, because that's really the only scale on which those numbers are meaningful in most cases. Individual systems cut off from supply lines are a special case that does not justify the added interface redundancy.
Anyway, I'm enthusiastic about it. Thanks for making something awesome!