SitReps - Empires Arrival + Echoes Of the Past

Published on Friday, October 27, 2023 By Erebus6937 In Sins II Feedback


I haven’t played since the Omens of War update. I’ve not modded any files either, so my games were vanilla. Also, everything I write here is intended to be a suggestion/idea – please don’t read this as if it’s a list of demands or the like.



1) General comments
1.1) Not having the ship components exclusively tied to levels allows for a lot more variation to them

1.2) For the end-game menu, it’d be nice to see the minor factions added. For examples:
---Pirates fleet supply present
---Pirates kill-count
---Pirate planets owned (mostly for a randomly unhelpful statistic, although mods may end up having better use for this, especially if the pirates are able to spread)

1.3) Is it within scope to give minor factions garrisons instead of militias? This way they could automatically replenish their defense fleet if their factories are not being destroyed. This would require them to be able to (re)build their structures too.

1.4) The ability to reposition their defensive structures – this is something I prefer to be unique to the Vasari. (and perhaps those allied with the Vasari rebels via diplomacy research)

1.5) A musing I’ve had regarding a small expansion of the “exploitation” aspect of 4X is to allow each of the factions to have unique benefits/enhancements come from research & control/ownership of planetary bonuses. Some ideas:
~TEC garrisons see a +50% supply increase from [feudal_society_planet_bonus], but a -50% supply decrease from [free_market_society_planet_bonus]
~Vasari research into [Orbital Extraction] would see upgrades to the bonus provided by [stable_debris_field_planet_bonus]
~Vasari [Nanite Excavation Swarms] research would allow [abandoned_nanite_factory_planet_bonus] Vasari players to reduce development price, development speed & build their ships and additional 1% faster.

1.6) A mild rework of the [pirate_treasure_planet_bonus] to be based on the [trader_archaeology_center.unit_item], where the pirate planet will randomly award credits, resources, exotics, ships, ship/planet components. Rather than a flat credit increase then it’d have a feel more in-line with the text stating that you’re shipping out the loot “A vast hoard of ill-gotten riches is shipped back to your capital one cargo hold at a time..”

2) Gameplay
2.1) Vasari Rebels – It’s really cool that the Vasari start the game in the middle of a phase-jump to a new planet. Them not needing credits, but having the ability to acquire them for diplomatic purposes is something I hope is here to stay. The Vasari definitely have a feeling of being resource strained – which is really fun for me.

2.2) I really, really dislike that the Vasari can have Garrisons, it’s a feature better suited for the TEC identity (and adds to the asymmetry). To me, it’d make more sense if all of the Vasari military/civilian structures had the Orkulus Starbase capability to move within their gravity well, but were also armed with 3-4 point-defense weapons each (since they occupy worlds from orbit, I’d assume the worlds they control wouldn’t be able to field more than strikecraft or the occasional corvette/frigate. It makes more sense to have the Vasari strength – their mobility – also be their weakness. If they overextend themselves they won’t be able to defend their territory against something more threatening than a small armada without stationing their ships in a defensive manner (which means they aren’t being used to attack & gain more territory). Vasari ships are strong, but few in number due to limited resources.
~This being said, I am okay with the idea of the Vasari Rebels specifically having the ability to build the [Defensor Garrisons] while allied (or in a pact, if those come back) with a TEC player. I’d also like their ally to be able to build the [Defensor Garrison] as well. It’d be more work, but allowing the TEC player to lose the [Defensor Garrison] if the alliance/pact is broken would be a nice feature (Vasari player wouldn’t be able to build more). This is more intended to serve as a foundation for more expansive diplomatic actions/consequences though… at least for some of my own modding ideas.

2.3) TEC – the addition of trade ship escorts is neat, though I was surprised that both factions had access to them. I assumed that the TEC Loyalists would be the ones escorting their ships while the TEC Rebels swap out trade escorts for their Insurgents.

2.4) I don’t understand why bounty can no longer be applied to minor faction players? Sending the pirates to attack minor factions you can’t maintain cultural dominance over is something that should be possible. If others really wanted those minor factions to survive, then they’d deploy ships/space-stations to help defend them. If the issue was minor faction forces getting destroyed too quickly, couldn’t we just swap out their one-time milita allotment with a garrison? Garrisons will automatically replace lost ships over time already and can be set to be defensive with no roaming. Is it at least possible to mod this capability back into the game; or will it be possible in the future?

3) Balance
~I want to play some more games with the newest update before commenting here. I know this is still a WIP though. I'll follow up later

4) Artwork/Visuals
4.1) It’s awesome to see the new color preview with ships/structures; would it be possible to also include the names of the ships/structures being displayed?

4.2) The differences in layout between the Vasari & TEC research trees are immersive. The TEC seem to be evolving off of upgrading their weapons/defenses meanwhile the Vasari look like they’re reactivating shelved programs and are very straightforward with their categories & organization.

4.3) The game menu being comprised of an AI-only game in the background is pretty fun to watch. Definitely not something I expected to see. (Vasari capital ship warping to a planet, colonizing it, engaging with what I assume is the local militia, and about 40sec after fighting is done I see a random piece of ship debris go across the view of the Vasari ship.

4.4) Adding in an icon on the planets/ships/structures for flavor text is still desirable. Part of this is that I’d like to see the dev-journals have an in-game adaptation. A little icon added to the UI for units that can have text for flavor text basically; the capital ships & titans could have the crew, dimensions & the lore text added here so that it’s not hidden but also not intrusive (modders can use it to give credits too directly for the model).

5) Bugs, Typos, Goofs
5.1) Start a new game due to a test branch update; on game start as the Vasari I entered the game with my view upside down and had to wait something like 30sec before I was able to rotate my screen’s yaw/pitch/roll. I could still strafe without issue though. I’ve only seen it once so far (and only on the previous update. I don't have a save file for this one though.

6) General Feedback
6.1) In the game set-up: would you add in notes about each faction’s unique traits in addition to the current lore text that’s provided? Rather than marking them as “Faction” in the player files they could have a “featured” tag of some kind (so they can be seen without showing all the units/research in the TEC/Vasari/Advent level preview of the selection UI)?
~TEC have trade as a unique mechanic. They also feature garrisons & research items such as Pervasive Economy, Industrial Juggernaut & Development Mandate
~Vasari have resonance as a unique mechanic. They also feature Phase Missiles, Phase Gates, the ability to summon the Dark Fleet & research items such as Highly Attuned Sensors
~Advent have [TBD]...

6.2) I still maintain that this game would benefit greatly from having a built-in wikipedia accessible from the main menu & from within the game. You could make a play off of the in-game artifact and call the in-game database the “Research Archive”? My goal is to have info present on all of the ships/structures/researches/factions/resources/culture/trade/resonance/planets/planet bonuses/ components & etc within the game without forcing people to need internet access in the hopes of finding some wiki variation that’s actually trustworthy & up-to-date. In my mind, the info could be referenced from the game itself (the game already has the icons, text, damage numbers and other attributes built into it - so I’d assume that this “Research Archive” would essentially auto-update with any balance patches – which would make it nearly.


Requests [A] (aesthetic):

Allow the minor factions to have their unique planet components equipped. For examples,
- Vasari Miners would have [Advanced Mining Rig, Secret Military Lab, Allied Metal Market] equipped on their planet. I’d suggest adding [Intercultural Exchange] to them as well.
- Advent Merchants would have [Allied Crystal Market] equipped on their planet
- Pirates! Would have [Smuggler’s Den] equipped on their planet. I’d suggest adding the [Pirate Mercenary Base] to them too.
- Scrappers (TEC minor faction) ships/starbases would have [Salvaged Plating] equipped where applicable.

The idea here is to give players that look at minor factions a hint that unique components exist & it can help with immersion in that the minor factions would be “using” their own unique components.

Allow Minor faction planets to look developed with planet elevators (where they’d normally spawn) and city-lights. The [npc/simple_planet_tracks] field does not cause those to spawn inherently. Setting minor factions to have the same planet tracks used by major factions will cause them to light up, assuming that the [home_planet/starting_track_levels] is set to have the tracks at the maximum possible.

Allow player entity files to override the city-lights of a developed planet to a particular color/transparency; planet elevators are already defined this way. For example, the color scheme I’d like to be able to mod into existence:
- TEC use the current yellow/golden colors that are currently in the game
- Vasari would use purple/violet colors
- Advent would use blue/teal colors
- Some mod factions

Requests [B]: (for modding capabilities):

Similar to how ship components can have limitations on the number of instances permitted on a ship [max_count_on_unit], it would be nice to have a parallel system added for planet bonuses when a map is being generated, a [max_count_on_map].

This would allow me to either throttle the total number of an overly common planet bonus (*glances at [Dense Core]..) or to set a particular number of a particular planet bonus that can spawn without needing to make the planet bonuses artifacts.

Allow minor faction AI to use major faction AI. So if a minor faction is given research, planet tracks, fleet supply, buildable units/structures/exotics, etc…  it will use them.

Allow minor faction markets to have their costs/prices scale off of the minor factions current inventory of credits/metal/crystal. The goal is that minor factions that are well-off will be less useful and those that are in need will be more profitable. Factions would auction off surplus resources for credits (causing their resource inventories to change) or spend their resources on building structures/ships or by improving their research.

The ability to have planet bonuses/components add a random ability to ships manufactured at the host planet. Some examples would be scalar or additive ship stats (HP, antimatter, armor, shields, mitigation, general weapon damage, specific weapon damage)

The ability to unlock component slots (planet/unit) with research