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Galactic Civilizations II: Would you purchase a multiplayer expansion?

Poll results

By on May 17, 2006 4:58:46 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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The question we asked was, would you purchase a multiplayer only expansion pack that was $20.

Multiplayer expansion are nothing new.  Civilization III had one. Even the original Civilization had a multiplayer expansion. 

My own thoughts on a multiplayer expansion pack are ambiguous. Unlike an EA or Take 2 or any number of big publishers, Stardock's ability to get widespread retail space for an expansion pack for Galactic Civilizations II is a real challenge.

Hence, future expansion packs for Galactic Civilizations II are likely to be digital-only.  This way, the retail version of Galactic Civilizations II can hold on to its space as long as we can and people who want more can come here to get it.

Which brings us back to what exactly should be in an expansion pack.  We plan to make multiple expansion packs. One of the mistakes we made with the first GalCiv was that we only made one and users made it clear to us that they would have liked to have seen more.  So this time we will make sure we do that.

The first expansion pack would come out this Fall.  The second one next year. It would be that second expansion pack that we have to finalize what features for that could potentially be mostly about multiplayer.

When one thinks of an expansion pack, think of is like designing a ship in GalCiv II.  We have 5 slots. Multiplayer would eat up at least 3 of those slots, more likely 4 slots.

So the question really boils down to, are there OTHER features you would prefer to have instead of multiplayer.  This multiplayer poll won't be the last one on the subject.  But the results make it clear that there isn't a huge outcry for a multiplayer expansion.

I think most people are of the opinion that they'd happily by an expansion pack that included multiplayer if it had lots of other features. But that's not how these things work out. Multiplayer is a huge feature so other features would have to be taken out.

Once the first expansion pack comes out, we can then look at what might go into a second expansion pack (including multiplayer) and put the question up as to which features would people want the most.

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May 17, 2006 4:59:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
BTW, almost 3,000 people responded to this poll.
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May 17, 2006 5:13:35 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
1. I would like to see different types of governments then what we have now.

2. With the new idea of ships firing at the same time, the stealth tech tree would come in perfectly.
Rules on stealth are here:
1: A ship with stealth that is greater either a) some stealth sensing tech or another type of stealth then they have a first strike.
2: Depending on the stealth on the ship and the steal sensor of an enemy, would decide how many parcels away your ships are seen........... This part could be hard to program: having shps without stealth in a fleet on reveal themselves because they have no stealth tech, so when the enemy attacks, its like an ambush! Something with the Ai would have to be adjusted with this also, because this would cause potential cheese. Espionage would have a greater value in this area.

these are my two cents
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May 17, 2006 5:29:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Thanks for explaining the poll results. I voted 'no', but if I'd known how much dev time multi would take away from other features, it would have been 'hell no'. Like many others, I wouldn't MIND multi, but it's just not worth losing anything else to get.
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May 17, 2006 5:29:43 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Multiplayer is a huge feature so other features would have to be taken out.

So...my answer is no.

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May 17, 2006 5:51:05 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I am excited to see the focus of GalCiv II being an increase in depth of gameplay and features in the future.

This being said, I voted 'no' because of the lost features, not the cost. $10 for more ship jewlery? You better bet your bippy that I would make that purchase!

All that aside, I am continually happy I bought GalCiv II, pretty much entirely on the way that I was treated as a GalCiv I customer: like royalty.

You've done a great job, and I continue to look forward to future news.
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May 17, 2006 5:53:19 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would never play multi-player... I do not like playing with other people... gaming is a personnal relaxation for me.

if I want interaction with other people, I would go out and play tennis, or go hiking, bike riding, go to my kick boxing gym etc..... or whatever.

I want as many possible game features (-multi player).


my .02 cents
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May 17, 2006 5:53:44 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
As ever great post , Gal civ 2 has me hooked even more so than Gal Civ 1 a job well done considering how fussy i am . Multiplayer is ok to a certain extent but id rather you just add to the features of the single player first though i trust you lot to make a great expansion or 2 which i will be downloading id really like an extended campaign thoroughly enjoyed the Dread Lord campaign , though it was too short . Anyways keep up the good work Stardock .
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May 17, 2006 5:54:43 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
My opinion - multiplayer in a game this large really isn't worth it. I've tried doing turn based multiplayer before and it got old really fast (you end up waiting forever for your next turn)... unless there's a way to make it so you can play full games in an hour I don't see it as something which is worth pursuing.

As a thought what I would like to see is an increased military strength for starbases. Unless you manage to cram every module onto a starbase, its easily destroyed by enemy fleets or even individual ships... and its not worth putting much effort into defending starbases (I found its far more effective to have fleets which can intercept) because they get blown away so easily... so stronger starbases would be nice - in addition to Terror Stars of course.

Another thing which I would like to see in the game is a larger non military game. I know there's options to win outside of using the military, but without a huge military your diplomatic power is almost nil. Having more espionage and far more diplomatic abilities would be nice... and having it affect the game in larger ways would be nice. Perhaps creating some 'Special Force' units which could infiltrate the other races' planets and ships... with the ability to sabotage or steal? Just something that'll add more flavor to the game outside of diplomacy found currently in the game.

It'd also be nice to see separate tech trees and making the different races more distinct (different planet qualities so they colonize/grow best on certain planets... have it so that some races just wouldn't care about each other much because their planets aren't compatiable?).
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May 17, 2006 5:59:38 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I'd rather see some depth to the game. I'm not sure how drastic changes an expansion pack can have without becoming a sequel, but in a strategy game I'd like to see more than just the same old. And of course improvements to the UI are always very welcome. What I really wouldn't like to see is adding length to the tech tree or just bigger galaxies or similar. Rather something completely new. GalCiv2 is a fine game already, but it does lack some personnality. The races are pretty similar (they all function the same way etc. Just the bonuses differ). Aligment is a great thing breaking a bit the symmetry. The classic MoO2 had plenty of symmetry breakers such as special star systems, races that didn't need food and so on. The monsters that appeared every now and then were fun and the antarans made me shiver a bit in a cool way. All in all moo2 probably had a bit more personnality. It probably still isn't a better game, it's like 60 years old. Plenty of to learn from it though.
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May 17, 2006 6:00:34 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Which brings us back to what exactly should be in an expansion pack. We plan to make multiple expansion packs. One of the mistakes we made with the first GalCiv was that we only made one and users made it clear to us that they would have liked to have seen more. So this time we will make sure we do that.

Great news!
As for multiplayer, I voted for yes and would buy a MP only expansion for sure. I think it would open GalCiv 2 for a broader audience. A well done multiplayer mode is an important thing today, just think of Civ 4 for a moment.

But enough said for MP, these discussions have already been done a lot of times. Personally I'd go for great length when it comes to a challenging AI. I'm sure you'll keep improving the AI anyway, but if there's something too big to do just for a new version, I for one wouldn't mind paying for it.
Other than that, improved diplomacy options and an espionage system - although both might be very difficult to balance and to teach to the AI - would be welcome.
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May 17, 2006 6:05:24 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I am in opposition to evident popular opinion.

One of the things that amazes me is that this game didn't ship with Multi-player built in...over 80% of the bestselling games of the last decade had multiplayer options of some sort or another built in or added in an expansion.

I love multi-player in strategy games. Love it! Its truely the best way to play with, and humiliate my friends. I was sorely disappointed when I discovered this game didn't have it in. Especially after designing my first real Huge battleship!

oh well.. As I mentioned.. it seems I am in the minority here, I somehow missed the poll(maybe it is due to how sluggish the forums are here, I don't lurk as often as I should), but thought I would chime in anyway.

Love the game, regardless of options I can't wait to see what gets thrown into the mix next.

Cheers!
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May 17, 2006 6:13:57 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Personally, I would much rather have other goodies than multiplayer.

And I think it's more than just me.

BTW, I have given advice on some of your other online polls that cautioned you on taking them too seriously because I thought the self selected oneline sample may not reflect the actual population universe you are polling because of the lack of randomness and the lack of being representative. ie., the people who respond to a online survey are different than everyone who bought the game.

That doesn't seem to be the case here as you are directly sampling the very people that would be buying the expansion pack, your high involvement oneline community. Plus, you response sample size is huge.

This survey probably very accurately reflects the feelings of the highly involved players who like the game and are playing it a lot who probably would spend money on an expansion pack.

Multi-player is ok, but most people bought the game for other reasons. And multiplayer wasn't important.

If you are looking for multiplayer fans to provide substantial additional sales, you are looking at selling to those very people, to whom multiplayer was very important, who already decided not to buy your game because of that reason, who therefore are not familiar to you and have to be marketed all over again new.

It seems to be safer to fufill the wishes of those people who you already sold the base game to.

More races, more goodies, more options, etc.

IMHO
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May 17, 2006 6:16:51 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would love (and pay) to see depth added in the way of special gadgets for your ships and planets, including the ability to set up controlled wormholes, small force fields, limited cloaks (for ships and planets), hologram emitters (make your fleet look bigger then it actually is), space mines (the ability to “drain” power from enemy ships for a few rounds), and ways of bombarding a planet without having to invade (for all those games when you don’t have enough population to invade, but still wish to cause pain to the enemy.

Also, I think it would be great to be able to defend a planet without having to have ships in orbit. Similar to the way Ascendancy allowed you to build orbital weapons and shields. I think it is a little odd to require ships in orbit for defense.

I would also pay for an expanded ship combat viewer!

-Brian
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May 17, 2006 6:17:12 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would love multiplayer, but alas, real life would intrude. It would never work out unless it were on a really tiny map in which a game could be concluded quickly. And that kind of map is not fun for me.

Turn based multiplayer seems like it would be difficult to make work, compared to real time strategy or, of course, a real time shooter (like BF2). What if one player takes an hour to do a turn?

The only turn based strategy game that was multiplayer I really saw work well was two player only, and that was "The Perfect General". It really was pseudo-turn based, because if during player one's movement phase, a target suddenly entered line of sight of player two's units, player two could take "opportunity fire". Thus, even when it wasn't your turn, you were actively engaged in the game.
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May 17, 2006 6:18:06 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I agree with #9, an expansion giving much greater differences between the major races (advantages / disadvantages - think MoO 2, playstyle, maybe techs, ...) could be a nice thing and add a lot of flavour to the game.
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May 17, 2006 6:24:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would like multi-player in GalCiv2, because it would really make the gameplay more interesting than what it currently is, especially on a tactical level. The negative side of multi-player for turn-based games like this is that it's very difficult to ever finish a game. I wouldn't really mind a "hot-seat" multi-player or a LAN version, but if it's just against random people over the net, that might be a problem. If each game wasn't so time-consuming, multi-player would be a given, but with the way it's set up now, people would have to play on small or medium maps if they hope to finish in less than a day.

More features are nice though, but it would be better if the AI had more focus in terms of play-style for each race. The Drengin are war-like and focus on weapon techs in order to dominate militarily, but I'd like to see each race have its own preferred method of play for victory, such as influence, treaties, trade, economy, tech-trading, etc. I would also like to see more races available. Perhaps the Siliconoids? More race specific ship designs would be nice too. It would also be interesting to see a regular race with organic-looking ships similar to the Dread Lords.

I would just like to see more challenging and different types of gameplay, such as you would see from various human players. It would help to give a sort of personality to each aspect of the game. Customization of ships is nice and all, but I'd much rather consider how to best deploy those ships rather than decide whether my ship will look prettier with a shiny new tailfin or an antennae on that hard-point instead. Of course, a balance of both will be best to meet the demands of your various consumers.
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May 17, 2006 6:39:19 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I am sorry to say this but your multiplayer polls are a load of bullshit. First of all the poll does not even remotely represent an accurate numbers of players who would purchase the expansion if it had multiplayer. You have already alienated the multiplayer gamers like myself who have no more time to waste coming to the site to see if you hired enough talent to actually pull it off. From what I remember it was officially stated that if the game sold well you would put out an expansion pack with new content that also featured multiplayer. Obviously the easy road has been chosen again. I don't care what anyone at Stardock says about multiplayer. It's clear you guys have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to multiplayer and it's clear you don't have the talent to make it happen creatively or technically.

GalCiv2 is a great single player game no doubt. One that could have reached alot more people if it had shipped with mutliplayer. Most of the people that want to play multi don't even care now because they already know your stance on the subject and have moved on to other games. Now your talking about the third expansion pack possibly having multiplayer? Yeah like that would make it any easier to add multiplayer down the road. I hate to be so blunt but it's the truth. Just stop talking about it altogeather and quit wasting people's time.
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May 17, 2006 6:39:30 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
The metaverse system is MUCH better than Head-to-head multiplay IMO. Being able to save metaverse games adds a incentive to get on and play ten or so turns and get off (or in my case keep playing until the break of dawn ) Besides, turn-based multiplay could get kinda slow, like 8 person monopoly slow. The RTS genre is more suited for this.

One thing i would like out of the expansion is an infiltration module and aboarding party module. I'd love to steal a fleet of Frigates before they leave the ground, or take a powerful capital ship out of enemy hands in a battle.

Being able to destroy a colony (like obliterate it, not just remove improvements) would be awesome. Going Sherman on the Altarians would be bliss, and it should have some effect on their morale, no?

More races, major and minor , would add more flavor to the game.
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May 17, 2006 6:49:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Personally, I would like to see the tech tree get bigger. Like what was said before, a bording party ship. Or a way to capture starbases. I really hate destroying those when fightin, because then I have to spend money or wait for one of my constructors to be built, and if my opponent had maxxed out the base, its kinda annoying cause of all the lost effort. Another thing, would be to have flagships. If you had one in a fleet, it would give the ships a bonus becasue of more contol or something. Dont know if its possible, but....
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May 17, 2006 6:51:14 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
The question we asked was, would you purchase a multiplayer only expansion pack that was $20.

Yes that poll question would have been better phrased asking
" Would you ever use multiplayer for your Gal_Civ_2 gaming ? "


..future expansion packs for Galactic Civilizations II are likely to be digital-only. This way, the retail version of Galactic Civilizations II can hold on to its space as long as we can and people who want more can come here to get it.

This sounds great and I completely agree.


It would be that second expansion pack that we have to finalize what features for that could potentially be mostly about multiplayer.
When one thinks of an expansion pack, think of is like designing a ship in GalCiv II. We have 5 slots. Multiplayer would eat up at least 3 of those slots, more likely 4 slots.
So the question really boils down to, are there OTHER features you would prefer to have instead of multiplayer.

Multiplayer allows extensive replay value...
SP allows:
Player VS AI
Player & AI VS AI............................................................................... the end

MP allows:
Player VS Player
Player & Player VS Player & Player
Player & AI VS Player & AI
Player & Player VS AI
Player VS Player & AI & Player

not to mention the increased detailed diplomacy agreements via IMchats /phone /person_to_person.
not to mention how human players can be much more clever and sneaky than any AI opponent
not to mention how other human players will actually be able to view your ship designs...
think the AI opponents ever notice those fancy ship designs ?


This multiplayer poll won't be the last one on the subject. But the results make it clear that there isn't a huge outcry for a multiplayer expansion.

33% (one-third) of this gaming community wants multiplayer... that's more than noticeable in my book. If 33% of the USA wanted to start a revolution I'm sure the US government and other governments around the world would definitely take notice. Also lets keep in mind that the community has much fewer multiplayer gamers since the current game is SP_only.... once multiplayer becomes available this GAMING COMMUNITY WILL GROW. More people means more word of mouth which means more sales !


Once the first expansion pack comes out, we can then look at what might go into a second expansion pack (including multiplayer) and put the question up as to which features would people want the most.


If you want your gaming community to grow... MULTIPLAYER is the best way to make that happen bringing in gamers which do only multiplayer games. You will be able to tap into some sales currently not accessible.

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May 17, 2006 6:57:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Hotseat / LAN

I list this as seperate from 'Multiplayer' because mulitplayer has taken on a different meaning in the world today.

If you don't want to do an EXCELLENT MP expansion (because, a year down the line, only a flawless implementation would have a hope of making a dent in the MP community), then at least make it possible for players to take on their immediate family and friends. Heck, you wouldn't even need to 'balance' multiplayer.

I can't see this being worth more than 1 expansion 'slot'.
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May 17, 2006 7:02:54 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
One of the things I would really like to see is less abstraction of weapons and defensive systems details. Instead of beams, missile, shields, armour etc, let's have specifics that actually make a difference. For instance, how about "dirty" weapons that have various ancilliary effects, like increasing radiation around battle sites, inhibiting trade routes (via damaging the trade ships passing through, making warship crews sick (expressed as modifier penalties etc)). Races might get angry if another race is using these types of weapons (think nuclear bombs etc.) I completely understand the need for abstraction, but a greater variety would be better and add diversity among the races. Heck, even making abstractions of sub-groups would make dealing with the races more varied and interesting. For instance, phase shields might only be OK against lasers and particle weapons, but excel at repelling phasers, etc. How about certain weapon/defensive systems requiring certain resources before they can be built (somewhat like Civ 3.) You can then trade for these resources or find them...possibly on those useless uninhabitable planets. You could then establish outposts or mining colonies to secure those resources etc. This would provide another level of strategy.

Expanding planetary assaults would be nice as well. Perhaps create a tactical overhead map of the planet where troops can be landed. Then battles for various "sectors" could take place over weeks or months fighting. The planet's owner could position troops/outposts etc on this tactical map throughout the course of the game (i.e. before a battle even occurs) and it would be the attacker's job to gather intelligence on the best "sector" to land in. This would add more depth to planetary assaults.

Hopefully all of this makes sense. It's been a long week so far and I'm mentally destroyed from all this coding at work...argh.
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May 17, 2006 7:06:08 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I have a mixed opinion on this. On the one hand multiplayer is a must in a strategy game. On the other hand I use single player so much more than multiplayer that an entire expansion full of bling for my starships and cool new features.

Overall, for the low price of it I would buy it either way.
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May 17, 2006 7:06:15 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would purchase a multiplayer expansion pack if it allowed for playing larger galaxies - ie, being able to save a game and then load it back up with all the players. Here are some other features I would like:

~ More planetary defense options. These would include a self-defense improvement, such as a ground-to-air missle launcher or something of the sort that could thwart invasions, at least on a small scale. Another idea would be Shield Generators, which would project a force field around your planet that would that would have to be destroyed by a high-level ship.
~ More planetary invasion options. These would include being able to attack a planet from orbit with any sufficiently equipped ship, more invasion techniques (such as, for instance, being able to devastate the ecosystem with alien organisms after researching Advanced Farming, or to randomly blow up a 3 by 3 tile area after researching Photonic Torpedo, etc.), being able to control part of a planet or otherwise coordinate your forces to at least some extent, etc.
~ Expanded options with anomalies. These might include making anomalies move (like a comet orbiting a sun, or an asteroid randomly hurtling through space) or being able to move/manipulate them (knocking a meteroid into a planet ). More types of anomalies would also be appreciated, such as black holes. Finally, different effects upon encountering anomalies would be appreciated (ie going into a wormhole and getting sucked into another universe/out of the game, or exploring a meteroid and being eaten by giant space worms).
~ An improved espionage system - different slide options for 'Spying' (gain access to various statistics and steal technology at higher levels), 'Destabilization' (push down their approval rating, get an influence bonus against them, and at the highest levels rebellious cells within their civilization would commit acts of terror, like sabotaging ships and improvements, crashing ships in orbit, and assassinating political leaders)), and 'Counterintelligence' (counter all of these effects), and 'Government Infiltration' (very expensive and time consuming, though easier if the target's morale is low, but gives you partial control of their goverment at first, such as a few seats in their senate, and increasing control until you have most of their government in thumb and can counter their leader. This would obviously be very expensive and time consuming, and easy to discover and counter),
~ Finally, I would like to see more civilization options - new types of government, possibly as a result of choosing an ethical alignment, perhaps 'Habitable Starbases' that would function like mini-planets, new planetary improvements like Power Plants that would increase the efficiency of your existing improvements or clear the way for new ones, etc.
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May 17, 2006 7:06:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
mmmh... as i remember i voted "no" multiplayer... nevertheless i would buy it i think. i kinda changed my mind
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