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Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011


The Last Federation

What is it?
The Last Federation is a quasi 4x game by the folks who brought you AI War: Fleet Command. Rather than controlling a planet, you are the last survivor of a dead race that you betrayed to bring down their control over the solar system. You control one, and only one, ship in your attempt to unite the other 8 races in the solar system into a federation that will last the test of time.

The Strategic Map:

Most of the game takes place on the strategic map where you fly around to the planets performing quests, and trying to convince, cajole, or coerce the other races into joining your federation.

The Ship Combat:

The other half of the game occurs at the ship combat level. If you played AI War: Fleet Command you'll be familier with this setup. You basically plot out where your ship will go for the next few seconds of time and can choose what to attack. You hit go and everything plays out like you planned before hand. You can choose to active your abilities instead of moving and they have various affects ranging from spitting out fighters to cloaking you.


What are the races?

Hydrals
Player Race

You are the last of the Hydrals. The first to attain spaceflight, your long-lived race was responsible for centuries of oppression. Massive and deadly, a single Hydral is easily a match for a thousand troops of any other race. Unfortunately, you are outnumbered trillions to one. On the plus side, the lengthy solar occupation has left centuries' worth of inactive Hydral technology scattered about the solar system. Powerful technology that only you can activate

Acutians
Capitalistic robots

One of the more dangerous races, as they are always looking to make new "acquisitions" and they are able to immediately have any citizens become soldiers
Leading CEOs determines what options are available

Andors
Utopian robotic society

They are peaceable and benevolent, and will never try to take a planet from another race. They will fight, for a variety of reasons, but they can also be relied on to send aid where it is needed.
Parties randomly determined at game start; ruling party determines which options are available

Boarines
Isolationist ice-beasts

Solitary, beastly loners. Good in a fight, but their solitary nature leads to rather thin populations. Usually not one of the major players in the solar system, but if you can convince them of the virtues of a federation, they can be a good way to backdoor in other races.
Have the power for Rage Momentum, the longer they are at war, the stronger they get
Different regent priorities determine what options are available

Burlusts
Warmongering warlords

Warlike and volatile, ruled by an unstable hierarchy of warlords. Quick to fight, but also sometimes to a fault; predictable aggressiveness can be a form of weakness.
The only way to deal with them politically is through bribes, blackmail, and duels.

Evucks
Paranoid Kleptomaniacs

Quiet and studious, these are the most advanced beings in the solar system. Unfortunately, they are also amoral. They are not above unleashing horrible diseases on enemies, stealing every technology that isn't nailed down, or even blowing up their own planet if they think they have no hope of survival.
Dislike interference

Peltians
Communist agrarians

Weak, furry, and rather resembling barn owls. Usually very easy to sway to your wishes, but they are absolutely pathetic in ground combat, and not always the best in a space fight. They are quite good at suicidally bombing the heck out of enemy planets, though.
Manipulated using voting proxies

Skylaxians
Honorable Scientists

Very scientifically advanced, very calm, and able to convince most any race of anything -- under the right circumstances. An excellent foundation upon which to build a federation -- but if they don't approve of your actions, you can find them a quick enemy, as well

Thoraxian
Villainous insectoids

Monstrous nightmares. Each planet is ruled by a hive queen, who controls all the workers on her world. They are efficient killers, the most deadly force in the solar system now that the Hydrals are gone.
They aren't evil per se, but they have no concept of the value of others' lives. They can be a powerful ally if you manage it, but they are very hard to please
Different moods determine what options are available

Nitrousoxide fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 11:21

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Pittsburgh Lambic
Feb 16, 2011

Just when the GEO Pandemic was thought to be no more, it returned -- this time not as a modified strain of flu, but as a vast, unstoppable tide of infected green sea turtles. Once a beloved GEO landmark species, these hard-shelled aquatic killers were now the harbingers of World War G.

Nitrousoxide posted:

[The Ship Combat:

The other half of the game occurs at the ship combat level. If you played AI War: Fleet Command you'll be familier with this setup. You basically plot out where your ship will go for the next few seconds of time and can choose what to attack. You hit go and everything plays out like you planned before hand. You can choose to active your abilities instead of moving and they have various affects ranging from spitting out fighters to cloaking you.

That isn't how AI War combat worked at all?

Regardless, I've been eyeing this game and I'm glad to see a thread crop up about it. Is it any good?

Adrian Owlsley
Aug 6, 2010

This galaxy only has room for one karaoke champ.


As a little caution I got this game on release and it was definitely extremely bad. Everything was about as tedious as it gets since everything you could do was very easy/low effort but had a very small impact. You could easily take on a massive space armada alone in battle, for example, except when you won the combat you'd find that it only destroyed one fleet of the 5000 present. Besides combat you can do things like provide medical assistance to planets but it causes a gain of 1 medical progress a month or something, in my game a year-long shortage of doctors caused a planet to go down to -12000. I'm also not sure if those numbers do anything, they don't seem to. All that stuff was also completely unaffected by tech as every tech of the large tech tree has the effect of something like 10% ship hp, armor, build rate, or tech research rate. Pirates are also an infinite loot pinata whose convoys you can attack infinite times at no risk and no time investment for a small gain, even if the solar system has almost no ships. Essentially you're infinitely powerful as long as you're willing to put up with infinite tedium.

The only thing that seemed to effect anything in my game was trade routes which skyrocketed race relation to a point where I could form my federation in a couple years, but for being the only thing in the game that matters the feedback on when I could or couldn't form trade routes was awful. It had something to do with moons that I could make races colonize(instantly and at no cost) for resources but if I had them mine too many they had all 4 resources and wouldn't trade and if they mined too few or got unlucky on the resource rolls they would have nothing to trade for.

I think they've been releasing frequent updates to get the game to a playable state so the game might be better in the future. Personally I'm waiting for the free apology sequel that will probably be released in a year and a half if a valley without wind is any indication.

Snow Job
May 24, 2006



Another owner of this game chiming in to agree with Adrian Owlsley, although I don't dislike the game quite as much as he does. So far The Last Federation still seems like a partially finished simulation, not a game.



Adrian Owlsley posted:

Personally I'm waiting for the free apology sequel that will probably be released in a year and a half if a valley without wind is any indication.

That developer guy is really optimistic about TLF in his posts and updates, but who knows, maybe he's always like that.

Snow Job fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 03:38

pedro0930
Oct 15, 2012


The game is receiving weekly update as one can see here:
http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki...0_Release_Notes

This game is playable from start to finish without bug or much problems, but yeah, like others said the simulation and mechanics are quite unpolished and opaque.
For example, each planet gets an economic, environment, health, and order rating (referred to in-game as RCI), and the game explains what each of them does but not the magnitude of their effects. What does -100 mean except it's bad? What does +2000 mean except it's good? And the stats often spiral out of control due to bonus stacking or event. In two games I played I had planet with environmental rating of -1.2K. Well, that race is obviously not going to recover from that since their population is now permanently stuck at 1M. So the player just ended up playing the influence game to federalize all the races instead of bothering with any of the RCI stuff because it's hard to tell just what kind of impact one is making (and late game the more advanced race just out grow the player so much one can't really effect them except very drastic action like dropping a moon on their planet (but this is probably intentional). Yeah, you can play around with RCI through dispatch or lobbying to strength or weaken a race over time, but that's so slow and the magnitude of your impact is so opaque why even bother? Just set up trade routes for the races and bribe them for massive relation boost with the resources you just raided from their trade fleet 2 seconds ago.

The only time the game made me feel like a manipulative shadowy power broker is planting false evidence of conspiracy on the starting race that hates you to make the whole federation declare war on them, then repeatedly broker peace to gain relation boost to quickly get the starting race into your pocket to be federalized. And that one time I did something clever to break up the anti-federation alliance without resorting to galactic genocide to eventually win the game with every race alive.

It was decently fun while I had no idea what's going on. A big part of why I had no idea what's going on is because at release the game was so opaque that I just didn't know if something happening in my game is a bug or feature (for example, I couldn't get Boarine to join the federation because that button simply didn't show up due to a bug). Reading the patch note a lot of the stuff I talked about might no longer be true. I'll probably come back to it after a month or two.

pedro0930 fucked around with this message at May 14, 2014 around 04:19

Mister Adequate
Oct 29, 2011

thingken of fast

Didn't enjoy this game one bit when I grabbed it a day or two after release, but maybe that will change with patches? I doubt I'll give it another chance unless I see some glowing reviews about that though, it really was tedious and unenjoyable when it wasn't just being so utterly opaque I couldn't tell whether it was being tedious and unenjoyable or not.

Also seriously did I miss something or is that one system of like eight planets the whole of the strategic map? I spent some time assuming I had missed an option somewhere, either to see the rest of the game or to generate a sensibly sized system which actually had unclaimed territory and other stuff that could lead to interesting situations.

pedro0930
Oct 15, 2012


Mister Adequate posted:

Didn't enjoy this game one bit when I grabbed it a day or two after release, but maybe that will change with patches? I doubt I'll give it another chance unless I see some glowing reviews about that though, it really was tedious and unenjoyable when it wasn't just being so utterly opaque I couldn't tell whether it was being tedious and unenjoyable or not.

Also seriously did I miss something or is that one system of like eight planets the whole of the strategic map? I spent some time assuming I had missed an option somewhere, either to see the rest of the game or to generate a sensibly sized system which actually had unclaimed territory and other stuff that could lead to interesting situations.

Nope, all planets are already claimed. Each game is suppose to develop different through assigning each race random homeworld (which may or may not suit their physiology, which greatly effects their ability to thrive) and recently through two randomly assigned artifacts that give the planet either a big bonus or penalty. (That's the idea anyways).

Mad Wack
Mar 27, 2008

Don't stop me now


An FYI for the thread the developer (Chris) is famous for making half baked game systems that aren't fun then patching them into semi-playable state. He actually got really lucky with AI War - I remember talking to him at PAX East in 2012 when he was showing off his weird platformer and he didn't seem to get what made one game good and the other one garbage. Buyer beware.

DrManiac
Feb 29, 2012


Mad Wack posted:

An FYI for the thread the developer (Chris) is famous for making half baked game systems that aren't fun then patching them into semi-playable state. He actually got really lucky with AI War - I remember talking to him at PAX East in 2012 when he was showing off his weird platformer and he didn't seem to get what made one game good and the other one garbage. Buyer beware.



It's a shame since the concept of this game is super interesting.

Cantorsdust
Aug 9, 2008

Infinitely many points, but zero length.

The good:

Combat is fun. Set on a 2d map, each turn you give a movement order and a shooting order. Pick from 3 weapons to focus on shields, armor, or a burst weapon for groups. Divert power to shields, weapons, or engines as needed. Each battle you start with a set number of powerups that do things like launch a massive attack on one ship, take out groups of small ships, call in fighters to support you, restore your shields, etc.

Deep diplomacy system. 7 unique races that each have their own mechanics and preferences. Tons of diplomatic and hostile options. A large research tree to work through. But...

The bad:

Confusing as all hell. You have all these diplomatic options, but it's never clear when or why you should use them. It's not even always clear if they're helping at all. Each planet has an environment, health, public order, and economic score. Then each planet has a residential, commercial, and industrial score. Then each planet has a terraforming score. Each of these scores somehow influences its rate of research, spacecraft production, ground troops production, and trade goods production, but I have no idea how. I have no idea which scores to prioritize, when things are bad enough to intervene, or what the optimal methods for improving these scores are. Half the time the scores are changing faster than I can even influence them. If I don't understand what's going on in the game, why should I care about it?

Tedious as all hell. It's not just that I don't know how to influence the scores. The scores are influenced so slowly. You can spend in-game months working on one score to have it only go up by a few points out of a hundred. As an example: to form the Federation you need at minimum 2 races to like each other at 300 points. That is, race A must have a +300 attitude towards race B, and race B must have a +300 attitude towards race A. You can improve this by setting up trade routes between these races, brokering diplomatic deals between them, or doing a specific mission to raise relations. The first two ways I mentioned cost diplomatic points, which are generally ground by doing favors for the races. The last is a mission that takes years. A full year of a race relation mission might raise their attitude by 3-5 points. Out of 300. For one side only, as in only A to B, not reciprocated for B to A. loving bullshit.

The ugly:

This is put out by Arcen games, best known for AI War. But they're also known for notable flop A Valley Without Wind (1 and 2). What went wrong with AVWW 1? The mechanics were confusing and clunky. So they put out AVWW 2. What was wrong with AVWW 2? The mechanics were confusing and clunky. At this point I'm convinced that this studio got lucky with AI Wars and otherwise can't put out a playable game to save their lives.

They are on patch 16 (17?) at this point since release, which was a month ago. Every patch seems to change the game mechanics drastically. And in a game like this, changing one mechanic will likely have far ranging effects. There's no way they're properly testing what they're doing, and I'm not even convinced they know what they're doing at this point.

John Lee
Mar 2, 2013


I don't have this game, for basically the same reasons you guys are saying. But I also differ in one important way, because I assume the game will be great in a while. AI War, AVWW2, and to a lesser extent Bionic Dues all started out with heavy problems, and were fixed to become much better. Arcen basically has a strategy of "test until game is complete, release, and do iterations basically forever." The complaint about changing game mechanics drastically is totally true (I've been watching the patch notes because I find it interesting), but it'll be great in time.

AI War used to have all kinds of lovely mechanics, like roll-to-hit, but it all got removed and replaced. You know what AI War did recently? They removed one of the resources from the game entirely. Collection and setup was automatic, you could transform one resource into another at a loss anyway, so they took a look at it and just scrapped one of them altogether. And it worked.

Arcen has a history of consistently iterating games, and they get better each time. the patches are coming almost daily, but this was the plan before release, and shouldn't be seen as a sign of frantic scrambling. I didn't buy this game at launch, but I totally will later on, after it gets its footing.

Lord Windy
Mar 26, 2010


The game is fun in it's own way. I kinda set the solar system up for a mass extinction when my good friends the Burlusts was kinda gifted my entire arsenal of technology. So long as I kept killing dueling they gave 0 shits about what I did and I ended up being pretty much as bad as the Hydral were supposed to be.

All in all a great success.

Space Bat
Apr 17, 2009

hold it now hold it now hold it right there
you wouldn't drop, couldn't drop diddy, you wouldn't dare


Did AVWW2 actually become good? I've never heard that before.

John Lee
Mar 2, 2013


Space Bat posted:

Did AVWW2 actually become good? I've never heard that before.

Well, I thought it was fun. It's also a good bit more fun in multiplayer, for what it's worth.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011


I tend to agree with you folks. Honestly when I made this thread I thought it was a early access game... The utter feeling of impotence I get while playing it makes it not fun at all. Now it's not the battles that make me feel impotent. But the strategic level requires you to spend so much time doing nothing and the actual impact you have is so minor that it feels like the game is playing itself.

Tracula
Mar 26, 2010



Space Bat posted:

Did AVWW2 actually become good? I've never heard that before.

My biggest problem with AVWW was that the sprites were awful and felt like place holders. I honestly sorta liked it because it was doing something different. I don't have a loving clue what it was doing and I doubt the dev knows either but it was different.

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Pittsburgh Lambic
Feb 16, 2011

Just when the GEO Pandemic was thought to be no more, it returned -- this time not as a modified strain of flu, but as a vast, unstoppable tide of infected green sea turtles. Once a beloved GEO landmark species, these hard-shelled aquatic killers were now the harbingers of World War G.

Been awhile for this game, and now that Wiz is doing a legislative Let's Play of it I'm curious as to whether it's improved any since the thread was posted.

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