Planetary Annihilation

Cosmic War

[PC] [MAC] Planetary Annihilation

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Unread postby icycalm » 14 Aug 2014 20:53

Second thread of mine on the PA forums that gets locked: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/use- ... ase.62915/

If you read it you will get an advance preview of some of the points I will be making in the "On Difficulty, Fun and the Impossibility of Playing to Lose" essay.

The thread's title was originally "I am not a frigging casual!", but the mods changed it to what you see now.


EDIT: And I need to use this line in my StarCraft review:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/use- ... ost-978055

cdrkf wrote:SC2 isn't hardcore strategy imo- it's learning 'keyboard combos' to activate all the unit abilities in the fastest time possible. SC2 is about as strategic as Mortal Combat.
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Unread postby icycalm » 14 Aug 2014 21:41

Another fun quote from the thread that's not mine:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/use- ... ost-978130

cptconundrum wrote:I love how the OP claims to be a philosopher but then blindly rejects all ways of thinking that differ from his own. Actually, that does sort of sound like a philosopher, doesn't it?


Seriously, though, his mistake is in the word "blindly". I did not reject anything "blindly", but only after studying and considering all the alternatives for years and years on end.
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Aug 2014 07:23

Let me just state something here real quick, that I don't think I've said anywhere else.

This is basically the best game ever. Only GTA3 and Far Cry 2 beat it by a narrow margin. It even beats Civilization because, with the insane scale the game is aiming at, it almost begins to encroach on its territory in terms of "grandness" -- while being real-time, which is of course more realistic and thus beats Civ, and any other turn-based game, hands down.

You read this site because of my insight, right? So I tell you this is almost the best game ever. If you are not absolutely repulsed by strategy/tactical games, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to try it out. We have an awesome team of 5 people right now, and we are going to need to ramp that up to 10 minimum by the time the 1.0 version goes live, so we could use a few more players (and moreover trained players, because if you come in at a 10v10v10v10 game and you can't figure out an orbital laser from your butthole, you'll burn the whole team).

Try the fucking game (not alone, but with teammates) and if you don't fall in love with it you will at least know that your taste in games sucks.

And don't worry about sucking, if that's what people are worried about. Me and the rest of the team are ready to help get in you in shape for some epic, unforgettable battles.

To the rest of the team: guys, pitch in with your impressions of the game and help me attract more players to the team. infernovia has been going late to work for a week now because of PA. Masahiro has like 50 hours of game time (2 full days lol!) in less than a week. Qpo is playing half asleep from fatigue, etc. Everyone fucking adores the game and can't get enough of it.
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Unread postby Masahiro9891 » 15 Aug 2014 09:49

Here is the first fucking reason to be playing this game:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/100-man-game.54482/

neutrino wrote:I'm very very encouraged by the big games that have been played so far. Once we get the server issues worked out and add multi-planet start I can see my vision of 40 player games working... and obviously larger if we all think it's more fun to go there.


neutrino wrote:So the issue is one of balancing. We don't have a system for segregating the servers based on capacity. We'll have to implement that.

And yes this means that when you can run your own servers you can make games as big as you want.


So, as it has already been said, the ONLY limit to the game is your hardware. Just take a second and imagine that. Playing 100 man games with like 10+ planets, moon, etc. will be one of the greatest experiences in your gaming lives.

So far we've only been playing on a SINGLE PLANET with like a radius of no more than 700 to 800. Imagine when we are an a planet the size of earth. Where it takes like 5 minutes to actually find the enemy. This shit is available now (or close to it depending on the Uber guys). Icy is essentially calling what we have been doing one of the best games ever, and we aren't even close to playing the game the way it's meant to be played, and it's still fun as shit. I'm so addicted to it right now that when I'm not playing I'm thinking about it all the time. I'm fucking ADDICTED like a crack addict. And what crack addict could smoke crack for like 46+ hours in less than a week and not die lol. I'm getting a better high then every fucking druggy ever.

The other big thing is as we get more people the game will become if not endlessly re-playable, then close to it. Because with more people we will have more specific jobs. Icy made a comment in the 4v4 game we played how it was like an entirely different game because of how specific our jobs are in 4v4 (he didn't even know what me or Qpo were up to lol). And this will only increase as we get more people. Just think with 10 people doing at least 5 jobs how many different aspects of the game you can enjoy. And once we get at least decent with each aspect how you can decide what you feel like playing depending of your mood. Want to wage war, cool, want to sim city build, go for it lol. This decreases the feeling of doing the exact same thing every game.

The other thing is the longer you wait the harder it will be to join. The reason is because as we get to larger games it will be that much harder to play smaller games. After just one awesome 4v4 game going back to 2v2 hurts, it fucking hurts me. Now just imagine if we can get a 10 player team going, and we're playing 10v10 games regularly, I'll never be able to play smaller games again. Or if I do they won't be nearly as enjoyable for me. So the sooner everyone starts the faster we can all get better and move to bigger games, and the more the guys that have been playing the 2v2's can play with y'all to get y'all better.

Nearly everything about the game is perfect from the aesthetics to the music, it's all amazing. The way the game starts and the commanders fall to the ground with a giant crash sending a shock wave all around him (which is actually an important mechanic since it helps clear forests that initially you wouldn't be able to build on without clearing it first with some type of unit) to the ending screen where after a win in all caps it says, "COMPLETE ANNIHILATION". How fucking great is that.

Please everyone get this game. I WANT MORE PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH ME LOL. I imagine a point in the near future where I can play almost 24 hours straight. Now that's some insomnia shit right there. Make it happen guys.
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Unread postby Qpo » 15 Aug 2014 12:07

I love how fast units die and how it makes proper formation and positioning (and thus also terrain) absolutely crucial when armies clash — get flanked, get fucked. I regularly clean out numbers several times my own that were merely sent forward with "select all and attack move", and it feels glorious.

What's really crazy is how hard it is to get an overview of what is going on. The "align camera towards north" key (default N) has helped a lot, but no matter how many times I circle a planet I just can't fit it all into my brain and be like "ok, the situation is ABC, hence we should XYZ" — it's just too big, with too much going on. It almost hurts, lol. If asked if I like the game I probably wouldn't even give a straight "Yes", but rather close my eyes and furrow my brow and be like "...I don't know" while sinking into deep thought about my last game and how the hell to proceed in the next. This large scale makes communication essential, and as mentioned we're still only playing on a single planet.

Bigger systems with more players and planets will be MAD. (I think I've finally found the next game that forces me to upgrade my rig...)
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Aug 2014 20:59

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/the- ... ost-980168

I wrote:It seems that balance is your biggest concern, because that's the only aspect you mention. Personally, I'd rather have an ambitious unbalanced game than a pedestrian balanced one (which is what the StarCrafts are), which is why the esports community has always favored mediocre games like SC as opposed to stuff like AoE, Cossacks, SupCom, etc.

What I am trying to say, is that there is a fundamental opposition between PA's level of quality and its acceptance by the esports community. If it's too good (which it already is) they won't accept it. Or at any rate not at the level that they would accept something worse. This is the real balancing game that Uber will have to play as it tries to move into the esports sphere. How much dumbing down are they willing to do in order to become accepted by the kind of person who plays "esports"? (I.e. who thinks that moving and clicking a mouse is a sport.)

I hope the answer is none, and I hope whatever minimal esports acceptance the game finds, plus whatever income comes in through sales, mods, etc., will be enough to sustain the continued development of the game for years.
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Unread postby icycalm » 23 Aug 2014 00:10

Here is a video of a 3v3 match with me, Qpo and Masahiro:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l39wrjl580a1l ... 8.avi?dl=1

This is merely a little preview of what is coming. It's on Qpo's machine (you see what he sees, but you hear all of us), and so it's on the lowest detail settings, with the music also turned most of the way down, and with a simple battle on a single small planet against opponents who get annihilated in like under 15 minutes with a simple bot rush. There's no air, no naval, no orbital, no nothing. It's a quick and simple stomp to test out our recording setup. The game looks 1000 times better on Uber detail, and the complexity goes through the roof if we can get opponents who know how to counter a simple fucking bot rush, so you will see 1000 times better videos from us in the future (on the official Insomnia YouTube channel etc.)

There will also be a full review of the game soon, and the unveiling of our clan, etc. Enjoy.
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Unread postby icycalm » 25 Aug 2014 20:07

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/rega ... day.63185/

BradNicholson wrote:Regarding some details we'll be releasing today

hey guys,

so, in a couple of hours (provided i can spit a couple of drafts out and i still agree with my plan after i write it), we'll be announcing that we're headed to PAX Prime 2014. more specifically, we'll be talking about how we're going to show off the "gold" (or launch) version of Planetary Annihilation at the event.

you heard it right (and here first): launch is so close, we'll have the build by August 29. and as i teased earlier in another thread, you're going to get to play a near-version of that (minus a hotfix or two, probs) before everyone else does. i don't want to name the day (because hey, who knows!) but obviously that build is coming soon.

we think this is an amazing opportunity for us. we're going to be showing off live matches with live casting on an actual stage within our booth. people are going to get to see annihilations, the scale, and the general awesomeness of our game in the competitive environment we believe it will thrive in. it's the perfect place to get people stoked and see our game into the future.

oh, and the build will have gas giants and a new ... celestial annihilation option (you'll love me for saving at least this surprise for you) in addition to many little enhancements that make the game run faster, nav work better, and other stuff we'll toss in the update notes.

it's a really exciting time for us and this project our supporters made possible. just wanted to drop you all a line and give you a heads up (and i can answer a few q's). pretty cool stuff overall.


Looks like Death Stars are in. A Dox nerf is also inevitable.
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Unread postby icycalm » 28 Aug 2014 20:32

OMG LAUNCH TRAILEEEEEEEER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enzglv8sLn8

Every trailer's a hundred times better than the last. It's perfect. Perfect in every way.

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/pa-l ... ost-985460

I wrote:I want to kiss everyone on the dev team, no homo.


I wrote:Death lasers are even better than planet-smashing. They should have been a KS stretch goal.


Quitch wrote:I sense a disturbance in the force, as though a thousand players changed their system designs to include metal planets.


Bonus gas giant pics: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/gas- ... ost-985438

VNL5YjO.png

RD2HFaE.png

kFLtA3G.png


brianpurkiss wrote:The temperature settings changes the color of the planet.


stonewood1612 wrote:Do they animate?

Do the streams move?

DO THEIR SWIRLS MOVE?!


SXX wrote:In trailer it's visible that they're animated.


There are also new units and buildings, apparently, and the build might even be available on Steam today!
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 Aug 2014 06:21

I am posting a lot on the official forum, and I won't be copy-pasting much of it here, so if you want to follow all of what I am saying about the game you can go to my profile page and click on the tab "Postings":

https://forums.uberent.com/members/icycalm.1976311/
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Sep 2014 00:19

A 29-minute 5v5 game featuring me, Qpo, Masahiro, recoil and ksevcov:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2bqk2ns500ldv ... 4.avi?dl=1

It's a complete stomp, once again, featuring mostly ground with a little air, orbital and nuclear action. The exciting part is that it's ten players on a couple of tiny moons, and they all start on one of them. I think it's a good match to watch from beginning to end if you want to get a sense of how team play works. Still, keep in mind that you are only seeing maybe 5% of the kind of action that's possible, because of how small the planets are, and how quickly the match ends.

ksevcov is doing the recording on his supercomputer (fourth generation i7, 32GB RAM and GTX Titan), and he is very good with the camera, panning and zooming all across the battlefield so you can see everything on glorious Uber detail, but unfortunately he set his own voice very low, so you have to really strain to hear what he says. All the rest of the voices are clearly audible, however, and the music balance is great.

Expect the next video to be on a much larger system, of possibly three decently-sized planets, and to last longer and test our skills more.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Sep 2014 17:27

New thread of mine on the official forum. It's very popular and looks like it might be my first large thread that doesn't get locked. I'll only copy-paste the OP and a highlight:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/coul ... tly.63445/

I wrote:Could Uber please start renting us servers directly?

When I started playing PA about a month ago my clan consisted of 5 people, and by now it's up to 10. The way I am going about it, pushing the game on every new subscriber to my site, it will be 20 by next month and the sky is the limit. The problem is we are getting sick of having to divide ourselves up in smaller teams when more than 5 people happen to be online and wanting to play the game at the same time. We really want to get going with 10v10s and above.

So, as I understand it, the 40-player battles are possible right now, and have been for some time, but the holdup is the 8 games per server policy which throttles the bandwidth necessary for larger games. So why not rent servers to players directly? You don't need to release the server for that -- all you need is an option in the Uber store, or better yet in-game, to pay Uber a monthly fee (and also, why not, a fee per game or per day) so that they can allocate to you an entire server. I don't care how much it costs either -- when you have 20 people all pitching in, any amount of money can be easily gathered.

Now, I googled this, and also did a forum search, but all I came up with was Brian's plan to rent servers when the server is made available, and also the following threads, which did not address the issue:

http://pamatches.com/servers/
https://forums.uberent.com/search/424166/?q=rent servers&o=date&c[node]=61

But what Brian is offering, as I understand it, would not solve my issue, because I want a server tied into Ubernet, so I can play with randoms 24/7 if I feel like it, not a private server wholly distinct from it, to which I would have to invite people via email every time I wanted to play a frigging game. Tell me if I am getting this wrong, because right now that's how I understand the issue.

This way, eventually all clans would have their own servers on Ubernet, and if we were also allowed to advertise them in-game (in our lobbies, for example, so that randoms who participated in our games and enjoyed themselves could click on a banner and be taken to our sites), it would help greatly with getting the majority of MP players into the clan system, which is so necessary for a game that's so heavy on team-play as PA.

And hey, it would be an extra revenue source for Uber. I mean, I don't have anything against Brian offering this service and making some money off of it, but if Uber can make the money instead, and use it to further develop PA, I think even Brian would agree that that would be a better solution. Obviously both solutions could and maybe even should be offered at the same time, but I know which one I would choose, if given a choice.

Finally, everyone's been saying how horrible performance has been in the latest stable build for the last couple of days. It this is due to heavy server loads due to Uber's inability to rent more servers, this solution would certainly help mitigate the problem.

So please, start renting us servers directly as soon as possible, Uber.


https://forums.uberent.com/threads/coul ... ost-988739

I wrote:
epicblaster117 wrote:You do realize pretty much any large server based game have 3rd party dedicated servers and PEOPLE AREN'T SCARED OF THEM. There's no reason to think your 3rd party server would be ignored compared to Ubers. Look at any game by Valve where 3rd party servers dominate the server list.


No, I didn't realize this :) I don't play versus games online. Last one I played for reals was Red Alert 2 lol. PA is what made me enter this part of gaming culture. All other previous vs. online games were too simplistic to hold my interest for long enough to want to enter the online scene for reals.


P.S. When I rent a server, I'll rent it on my own dime (or rather, by using some of the money that people already pay to subscribe to Insomnia in order to join the clan in the first place). I am only saying that clan members would pitch in for the benefit of the other clan leaders.
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Unread postby icycalm » 04 Sep 2014 23:33

Happy World vs Red Enemy - A true story
https://forums.uberent.com/threads/happ ... ory.63600/
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Unread postby jeffrobot494 » 10 Sep 2014 08:08

I just witnessed my first Annihilaser firing. Totally awesome. I love the charge-up sound it makes. I was on the receiving end, sadly.
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Unread postby icycalm » 10 Sep 2014 11:16

Why don't you play the game on Steam so people can see when you are playing and join you if they want?
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Unread postby jeffrobot494 » 10 Sep 2014 15:13

I'm still not able to play it through Steam, but I'll keep trying to get it to work.
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Unread postby icycalm » 12 Sep 2014 08:30

Where's the big parade?
https://forums.uberent.com/threads/wher ... ade.64104/

I wrote:I have got close to 15 people to buy the game up to now. All of them play the game with me almost on a daily basis, and no one has yet uttered so much as a single negative comment about it (we draw enjoyment even out of the lobby bugs now). We have practically stopped playing anything else for 6 weeks now. Where's the "big parade"?

On our Mumble server every day.


mot9001 wrote:Lobby simulator 2014 is the game of the year man!
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Unread postby icycalm » 16 Sep 2014 20:26

6/6 review from a Norwegian site:

http://www.pressfire.no/anmeldelser/PC/ ... nihilation

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/yes- ... -pa.64300/

snierke wrote:From the review (google translate):

"Planetary Annihilation" tear me wide-eyed into the massive interplanetary kind I have not seen before in any strategy game ever."

"The game represents a brilliant entry for newcomers to the RTS genre, or a monstrous orgasm for simple, weathered veterans who have long been waiting for a real strategy game that is more about pillaging, huge explosions and headlong destruction than the management of granularity, configuration and quick reflexes."


Norwegians, at least, know what's up.
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Sep 2014 00:25

Reviews are rolling in, and the PA forums are full of new threads. Here's two I am participating in:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/revi ... gun.64344/
https://forums.uberent.com/threads/ign-review.64353/

Spoiler: PA is the new God Hand.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Oct 2014 23:14

Flat Maps are Coming
https://forums.uberent.com/threads/flat ... ing.64774/

I wrote:I would also like a 40 unit cap. And a cap that removes orbital and air and naval. And another option that turns the game into Dune II.


https://forums.uberent.com/threads/flat ... st-1011148
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Unread postby icycalm » 04 Oct 2014 04:49

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/peri ... st-1011479

I wrote:My main gripe is the atmosphere. You can be perfectly respectful at face value, but the atmosphere can still remain poisonous. You can even insult someone in a respectful manner, if you know what you are doing. When I first started posting in this forum, the main antagonism I saw was between me and the other users. Now it is between the users and the developers, and I don't like it. For what it's worth, I think Uber isn't being respectful towards their fans and customers.


And that was my last post in that forum. I had a good run, but now the threads are boring because Uber is moving on to another game, and updates will come once in a blue moon, from now on, if they come at all that is.

Game is still awesome, but Uber's behavior leaves a lot to be desired, so I want to move away from them so as not to get sick of it, and inadvertently carry those feelings into my evaluation of the game.
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Unread postby icycalm » 07 Oct 2014 00:27

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Unread postby icycalm » 07 Oct 2014 05:54

http://www.uberent.com/pa/2014/10/06/of ... october-9/

bnicholson wrote:Offline Play Is Coming This October 9

Online? Offline? However you want to play Planetary Annihilation, it’s your choice. Starting this week, you can take your battles completely offline.

We’re happy to announce the release of the offline server. Coming in an update this Thursday (October 9), offline server allows you to take over the galaxy in Galactic War without connecting to the Internet. You can also battle against your frenemies or the AI over a LAN.

DRM free offline play has always been an important feature of the Planetary Annihilation experience. Down the road, we’ll be adding the ability to run your own online servers as well.

As we’ve said in the past, launch is simply another phase of development and the beginning of another adventure. Look forward to another update on an exciting in-development feature in the near future.
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Unread postby icycalm » 08 Oct 2014 19:46

The Human Resources Kickstarter is spectacularly failing, which is leading Uber to refocus on PA:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/an-i ... -pa.64980/

BradNicholson wrote:Cross-posted from Kickstarter:

It's time for an introduction. Guys, meet Jeremy Ables. He's Uber Entertainment's new Director of Production focusing on Planetary Annihilation. He's worked on tons of games in his career, including Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.

But don't let us relay the message. Here's Jeremy:

“Hey there. I’m Jeremy, known to some of you as “jables." I’ve joined Uber as the new Director of Production, with the focus of developing processes and standards to better prioritize and communicate our updates moving forward.

Prior to joining Uber, I worked on many games, including Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance. I worked with the community and the team to focus development toward making the game we all wanted it to be. Here at Uber, I’ll be following a similar path, working to keep our goals in line with the community’s desires, as well as better communicate our updates moving forward.

- jables.”

All of us on the Planetary Annihilation team sees launch as just another adventure, and we’re excited to have Jeremy join us on the ride.


https://forums.uberent.com/threads/an-i ... st-1015180

I wrote:Uber guys, PLEASE CONSIDER KICKSTARTING PLANETARY ANNIHILATION EXPANSION PACKS AND/OR SEQUELS. PA is 1000 times the game HR could never hope to be. Flat maps and "hundreds" of units are the past -- PA is the future. Thanks for reading and godspeed.


cola_colin wrote:I actually wondered myself why they would not kickstart a PA addon instead. Maybe they're trying to go for more diversity, that's a good thing to do usually.


I wrote:I agree, but only if they don't lose track of their priorities, which should always remain PA. At best, I see HR as Uber's Colonization (the Microprose/Firaxis game) -- a nice side-adventure to the main effort that should be PA. But does Uber see it the same way? Before this announcement I wasn't sure.


The fact that they are hiring people instead of firing them is also a good sign re: the company's finances.
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Unread postby icycalm » 08 Oct 2014 19:59

More posts from me in the same thread:

cola_colin wrote:It does not have to be a sideadvnture. If they have grown enough to have 2 main adventures I am all for it. These guys make good RTS basically, so let them make more.


I wrote:It's hard to explain what I mean by side-adventure without talking about my theory of games/art. In short, complexity defines progression, and PA/Civilization are by their nature an order of magnitude more complex than HR/Colonization, hence why they are so much more successful and have such a greater future ahead of them. And hence why the companies that make them should prioritize them. Firaxis realizes this, and I hope Uber does too, or will eventually do so.


I wrote:To be more precise, everything that's going into HR would have been MUCH more effective it if went into PA instead. Extra factions, ravaged cityscapes, native populations, cool graphical effects, more art, more music, etc. It's like having a Ferrari and a Ford Fiesta and spending all your money adding leather seats, custom wheels, etc. to the Ford Fiesta. Maybe this somehow makes more sense from a business perspective (easier sales of inferior products to poor people), but artistically it's almost a crime.
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