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 Sword of the Stars 2 
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Data Realms Elite
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Post Sword of the Stars 2
Some of you may already know of this game. Which is great :D

But for those of you who don't, SOTS2 is part of the Sword of the Stars franchise. The SOTS franchise was brought into existence by SOTS 1, which had three expansions, Born of Blood, A Murder of Crows and Argos Naval Yards.

SOTS2, has just had it's first expansion, released for free. This added a new race, following SOTS tradition.

But that's enough about the history of SOTS. You'd probably want to learn about the gameplay.

SOTS is a 4x game, like Master of Orion 2 or Star Ruler or even Civilization 4. The basis behind a 4x game are the four x's, explore, expand, exploit and exterminate.

And SOTS2 is very much a good 4x game.

The AI can be ingeniously clever at times. I've been stuck in a stalemate with the AI for a very long time, since we both can't take the advantage over one another. The game's tech forest has randomization, meaning that when you start the game, your tech rolls are all done, and you may, or may not, get certain techs as you play through the game. But it's extremely unlikely to fail every tech roll. Random Encounters can throw a gear in the works of your match, with the consuming Von Neumann, the plague of Specters, the horde of Silicoid Swarms and many, many more.

Each race has a unique FTL drive, which affects their play style. Which I'll describe underneath this line. You can skip it, but it does help describe the races quite well. Go down to the other bold and underlined section, if you have skipped it. The archetypes are something mentioned by a Suul'ka in the SOTS2 release trailer, and it quite well describes that race.

Humans, or SolForce, use the Node Drive, which tunnels into Node Space. Think the warp from Warhammer 40k. Systems are connected to each other by nodelanes. Ships can travel along these lanes extremely quickly, but Humans have the slowest sub-light drive in the game, so you best stick to the node lanes. In node space, you can not be intercepted while inside, and a fleet inside node space is committed, it can't turn around. We are technological generalists, with the best Dreadnoughts in the game. Our archetype is sword, which is where the game draws it's title from.

The Hivers use gates. They have the fastest sub-light drive, and when they arrive, they deploy a gate in the system. All future travel to that system is instantaneous. These gates can be developed into massive gate stations, covered with armor and bristling with weaponry. Gate fleets allow Hiver defense fleets to move from anywhere in the empire, to anywhere else. Attacking them can be risky business for that alone. A sufficiently developed gate station can allow the full strength of the Hiver empire to pour into one system. They favor ballistics and armor techs, with the thickest armor in the game. Their archetype is armor.

The Tarka are a reptilian race, and have the most balanced, and no thrills, FTL drive in the game. Warp drive. Their ships travel at consistent speeds, no matter how many or few ships are in a fleet. This can be both a blessing, and a curse. Their ships travel at an average speed, much faster than the Hiver, but still substantially slower than a SolForce vessel. Their ships are very heavily armed, with most of their weapons on the bridge. A Tarkan vessel that has the bridge destroyed suffers terrible combat debuffs, as well as losing most of its weaponry. They also have good rolls for cloaking devices. They are, as the game would describe them, the spear.

The Liir are an aquatic race, very similar to dolphins. They have a special, inertia less FTL drive. This is good, because otherwise, the high mass of their vessels would make combat extremely difficult. A Liir ship teleports forward a few millimeters at a time, millions of times a second. These jumps slow down near a planet, but, in deep space, their ships can be deadly, thanks to the enhanced maneuverability. They can quite literally, turn on a dime. Liir have innate psionic powers, mostly telekinetic, as well as empathic. Their ships are fragile, but they have the best rolls in the game for shields, as well as the fastest research in the game. Technologically, they favor biological, psionic and shield research. They have the highest rolls in the game for the deadly Xombie plague. Their archetype is the shield.

Those were the original four races from SOTS one, without expansion. Since the expansions, Two more races were added to SOTS1, and are also part of the SOTS2 base game.

The Zuul are the first of the two expansion races. In SOTS canon, they had a splintering, with a small faction of the race joining the Liir, and the rest going on to form the Suul'ka Horde. Their FTL drive, is reverse engineered from the human one. You see, the Zuul can rip a persons thoughts and memories directly from their mind, and they are a very aggressive race indeed. They have slave ships, that attack inhabited worlds and take millions of people as slaves to be used as a resource. The Zuul FTL, rips a hole into Node space. But unlike the Human FTL drive, the Zuul one does not follow naturally occurring node lanes. Indeed, the Zuul treat the universe the same way they treat slaves - as something to be exploited. They create artificial node lanes. However, due to the synthetic nature of these node lanes, they can collapse if not regularly maintained, and must first be created by a bore ship. If a lane collapses while a fleet is inside, well, that fleet is lost to the howling mists of Node Space. Their ships are weak armor and hull wise, but are covered in guns. They have a slow research rate, but have a very fast research rate if it is powered by slaves. Due to their very nature, they will strip mine worlds and turn them to husks over time. As such, the Zuul player must stay on the offensive, to harvest slaves. They get a unique set of stations, as well, including the tribute station, which will allow you to call a Suul'ka to this sector. Their archetype would be claw, if they had one at all!

The second team added, the Morrigi, have a very special FTL drive. It is called the Flock drive, and it perfectly reflects their avian nature. The flock drive, assuming there is a gravboat inside the fleet, allows each additional ship in the fleet to add on to the speed of that fleet. So the more ships in a fleet, the faster it goes. Of course, there is a cap, but that cap is raised by additional research. In combat, almost every Morrigi ship carries drones, and dedicated Morrigi drone carriers are a fearsome site indeed. In the distant past of the SOTS universe, they were the one time rulers of the galaxy, and their culture is imprinted on every race, especially human. Morrigi females are substantially larger than the males, you see, and are not allowed on ships, instead nesting on planets. Morrigi females typically also have less feathers, or none at all. Instead, they appear more reptilian than their male counterparts, with wings that allow them to glide. As you can imagine, this matches the description of a dragon quite well. The Morrigi are masterful traders, thanks to thousands of years of perfecting the art. However, thanks to a series of disasters, they are no where near the power they used to be. However, a large number of their technological remnants still roam the galaxy. They have good technological rolls in the energy weapons tree, as well as in drones, cybernetics and C3. Their archetype is the arrow.

And that covers all the races added into SOTS1, and the races that are in the SOTS2 base game.

However, the recent expansion to SOTS2, End of Flesh, has added a new race. The seventh, race.

The Loa are a machine race. They are the remnants of the AI's that broke from all the races in the canonical End of Flesh scenario in SOTS1. I don't know much about them, unfortunately. But I do know that they have very unique gameplay. For the Loa, any, and every, world is habitable, except gas giants and barren wastelands. Unlike the other races, who must terraform a planet's climate hazard down to a habitable level, the Loa can colonize any world, no matter it's climate hazard. Volcanic, Frozen, Oceanic, Desert, it matters not. They can colonize it. However, where as the other races must terraform, the Loa must destroy a planets biosphere to increase growth, as they find organic life... annoying. The Loa FTL drive is a series of gates, much like the trans warp network, than stargates. They build a series of gates between systems, and ships pass through these gates. Each gate accelerates a ship to a speed of around 4.7 light years for a number of turns, after which the ship decelerates back to slower than light speeds. A Loa vessel is also made out of something called Smart Clay, which lets you convert your ships from one class to another instantaneously, but not in battles.

And that's the end of the race descriptions. I'll mark that end here, for people who have skipped that section.

Now that that's all out of the way, It's video time :D Remember that at the time of SOTS1, the studio could probably have been classed as indie. As of SOTS2, they are owned by Paradox, and have a substantial monetary backing. The voice acting has improved quite a bit since the SOTS1 era, along with the graphics.


That's the intro to SOTS1 base game.


The intro to the first expansion.


The intro to the second expansion. The third expansion was a mini one, and didn't add a new race nor did it add a new intro.


That's the trailer to SOTS2 base game. That's after the studio got bought by Paradox, who pretty much got rid of the bad voice acting.


And that's the last trailer, the one for the SOTS2 expansion pack, that added the Loa. Said expansion pack was released for free.

I'm not the only one from DRLFF who plays this game, too :P , indeed, the game works on multiplayer really well, once you open the ports it wants. The game has drop in drop out multiplayer, just like it's predecessors.


Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:11 pm
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Post Re: Sword of the Stars 2
Should have saw this thread coming... We need to play more.


Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:34 pm
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Post Re: Sword of the Stars 2
Wow..it seems to be an epic game, I think i'll give it a try


Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:32 am
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Post Re: Sword of the Stars 2
Wasen't this one horrible buggy when it launched? I remember being al hyped and it sucked donkey-muccus. Is it better now?


Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:39 am
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Data Realms Elite
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Post Re: Sword of the Stars 2
Azakan wrote:
Wasen't this one horrible buggy when it launched? I remember being al hyped and it sucked donkey-muccus. Is it better now?

Indeed. But that was because Paradox pretty much forced Kerberos to release the game, or they'd have closed the studio down.

The entire dev team apologized for the state the game was in, aswell as the president of Paradox Interactive. And, since it's now more than a year since the games release, it's really, really good now.


Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Sword of the Stars 2
Hey, where can I download SotS 1 with expansions? I can't find it


Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:53 pm
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