Trending Games | ArcheAge | WildStar | Star Wars: The Old Republic | Elder Scrolls Online

  Network:  FPSguru RTSguru
Login:  Password:   Remember?  
Show Quick Gamelist Jump to Random Game
Members:2,857,553 Users Online:0
Games:742  Posts:6,243,274
Cybertopia Studios | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 05/20/06)  | Pub:Cybertopia Studios
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Browser | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
Browser GameOut of date info? Let us know!

Astro Empires Forum » General Discussion » Astro Empires - A tale of a game that fails to live up to its promise.

19 posts found
  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/22/10 2:54:18 PM#1

As I am presently unable to review (rank too low) I will instead spin my tale here.

I have been playing Astro Empires for well over a year now.  The general concept and primise of the game is sound.  It has an addictively simple style of play that makes it easy to pick up and learn, even for the most inexperienced novice.  The overall structure  of the game is simple and rugged...you won't be observing crashes often if at all.  In short, it's a good game.

With all this praise, you may wonder "Why do I say Astro Empires fails to live up to it's promise?"  That would be a fair question.  The answer is deceptively simple: lack of customer support.  Astro Empires is plagued with two principle customer service problems: 1. Insufficient content development; 2. A dev. team with arrogant god complex.

I'll address the content problem first.  In the time I have been playing, there has been no significant development in over a year. (And I hear from even longer term players, that they haven't seen significant development since they've been playing.)  In the time that I've been playing, the dev team has introduced a revized production page to allow the production of fleet at all your bases from a common unified interface.  Additionally, they have revised the rules for fleet detection.  They have introduced many new languages that Astro Empires now supports (which is over all a good thing for expanding your user base).  Mostly, they have spent their time on 3D models (which the dev team confirmed have no purpose in the game other than artwork) and artwork based on those models.  I'll be the first to admit, I like eye candy.  However, for a largely text based game, most of these improvements are simply that, improvements, but not worth calling content.  This game has some serious hole in it.  It gives a nod to a guild system.  You can join a guild and be identified by it, you have a guild board where you can converse privately out of the ear shot of enemies, but that's it.  There is absolutely no serious guild support.  Guilds often negotiate treaties, however, there is no in game support for these treaties other than the honor system.  There is no shared intelligence, no ability to organize fleets (other than on the individual level), no ability to coordinate just about anything.  They have a forum for players to post suggestions, and most of my suggestion have been posted by others.  This leads into the second problem.

The development team is arrogant.  They reinterpret the Terms of Service arbitrarily and do much to prevent players from using valid tactics in the game if they just happen to not like them.  Their only response is usually draconian.  They fine, suspend, or ban your account if you are not playing in a way that they approve of.  This happened to a friend of mine, he was not very active, but he logged in regularly to keep his account current.  He was not progressing fast enough for the AE Team's preferences, so they accused him of transferring credits to other players (he would get attacked occasionally while building up credits), and banned his account.  The reason he was not as active on this account is because he was focusing more of his attention on another account on a different server.  The Dev team claim to have an appeal process, but I have never heard of a successful appeal.  Even I have run afoul of one of the dev team's rampages.  They made a post concerning the use of scripts (which are against the TOS) warning players not to use them.  Within a week, I was surprised to find my account to be negative and a warning message accusing me of using a script called ORI.  Wanting to know what it was that I was being accused of, I researched ORI and discovered that it is a script used to streamline scouting, and to allow guilds to share information.  Armed with this information, I appealed their decision stating that I never had installed this or any other script on my computer.  I demanded that they provide evidence that I had violated the TOS.  The response I recieved was baffling.  I was simply told that they "confirmed" the use of the script, and I was told to make sure that the script was not on my computer.  The script I had told them was never installed in the first place.  How can you prove a negative?  Yet that's exactly the position they put me in.  I went around this issue over several more emails, but all I recieved was circular reasoning, and bellierance at every step.  They never provided any evidence.  I gave up and lived with the loss of credits.  Ironically, this incident concerning scripts wound up disproving one of the responses I recieved when I made some suggestions for improvements they could make to Astro Empires.  I was told that they would be too difficult to program.  As a programmer, I was dubious at the truth of this statement, but I accepted it at the time.  Thanks to the ORI script incident, I learned just how false a statement it was.  Apparently, someone outside the Astro Empires development team had figured out a way to program a wrapper that actually added one of the suggestions I had made to the developers: the ability for guild members to share information.  If someone without access to the game code can do this, surely the dev team could do better.

At any rate, this is what I have learned about the dev team, they ignore customer recommendations, they censor any criticism made against them, they barely support their game in any meaningful way, and there is no room for any opinion other than their own.  I encourage you to play the game, but I warn you that it will become old very quickly.

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6165

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

11/22/10 3:11:37 PM#2

Sorry never heard of this game, but humored myself looking for it in google and too be honost if a Free to Play would give me these type of issue's I would be long gone, which would their lose and not mine.

Regardless and do hope you get your issue's in this F2P game resolved, good luck....

ps: funny that it's orginaly a dutch game, as in I am from the netherlands yet never heard anything about this game.

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/22/10 3:29:46 PM#3

I'm not surprised.  I came across it on accident myself.  Astro Empires has only been recently added to MMORPG.  As it's a strategy game, I honestly don't understand how it came to be on MMORPG.  At any rate, due to another conversation I had with Astro Empire's number 2 man, I promised I'd spread the news far and wide as to the nature and character of their team...with his blessing I might add.

  Ichmen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1234

hatred enriches.life is a prison, death a release.

11/22/10 3:39:08 PM#4

i have played AE for over 3years.... bought as paid upgraded and free player.. sadly the free player will never really truly compete against the paid members as you are limited in total planets (9) and total special buildings (stuff that gives you increased income/land/population) all of which handicaps you in to either paying monthly/yearly or taking a huge hit to econ and production. 

 

while that isnt that major if you micro manage your bases just right you can get 10 bases before your 7days free expire (or used to been years since i have done it)

 

the major killer of the game is you HAVE to invest huge time sinks in to the game.. if you are in a server war and do not play 24/7/365 your fleet will be souped by the fanatics who play all day every day (this is not to be confused with playing a normal MMO alot, as you spend hours/days/weeks staring at little numbers tick on your base and watching the same planet clusters day in and day out for scout ships.. instead of the normal MMO grinding for xp)

in my years of playing i have been in pretty much every major server war on beta since i started, while i dont hate that.. what i do hate is, the bordem you face both during wars and out of wars.. you sit and watch ships finish building and buildings complete their construction ...all to just repeat it.. 

 

give you an example, as of late i make fleets of fighters and cruisers i dump 10k worth of fighters on my best production world.. and i still spend up to a week watching them finish 130hrs later or more... same with cruisers. then i watch them slowly regroup with my main fleet that is blobed with my guild/allied fleets all of which is rather dull and boring

 

game is fun... when a server first starts as the rush to make DN and even cruisers makes people sweat bullets to get that 1mill fleet built before the other guy... older servers like alpha and beta... where 1mill is used as a defense fleet and if you do not have 10-20mill to start you are farmed... its not as fun

early game mass ships low tech is a winner combo.. late  game mass ships and godly tech (lv 30+) makes you highly unstoppable... all of it leads to a stalemate worse then chess or checkers :/ cause you cant reset the board once you stalemate in AE... just add to the stalemate with more ships..

 

its a decent game to waste time with, but like more browser games... there are better ones out there that are not as time consuming or boring late game

CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
Evga GeForce 670 FTW
Evga P55 SLI

<

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

11/22/10 5:37:41 PM#5

It's one of the best Travian clones imo, but if you're looking for AAA Blockbuster MMORPG support...uh well then perhaps you should be playing AAA Blockbuster MMORPGs?

I really don't understand the sense of entitlement when the game doesn't seem to promise anything you seem to feel entitled to.

Really my only complaint about it is how greedy it is about playtime.  Once you get rolling with an empire you really need to be active constantly to maintain growth.  It wasn't too bad while I was unemployed, but I couldn't see myself starting it up with a job.

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/22/10 9:22:34 PM#6

I wouldn't necessarily call this a travian clone...the analogy doesn't quite fit.  What on earth or you talking about? AAA Blockbuster MMORPG support?  What does that even mean?!  Does such a thing even exist?  What I don't understand is how you can go from a simple statement about the lack of support to a "sense of entitlement".  If you ever spent any time following the progress of this game, you'd know immediately that entitlement issues are not the case.  This group of developers are actually openly hostile to their customers. 

I happen to be one of the rare individuals who felt it necessary to obtain an education in two complementary, yet different fields: Economics (business) and Computer Science.  I have had several conversations with some of their developers, and I can speak from first hand experience when I say that these people don't know what they are doing.  This game is a business.  The goal of any business is to make a profit; otherwise, why are you doing it?  The number one concern that drives a business (other than the product) is customer support.  If you don't support the customer, then they have no reason to buy/use your product/service. 

What baffles me is that many of the customer recommended upgrades, other than making the game generally better, would also open up untapped revenue streams.  They already have an upgrade option for individual players.  Some of the recommended features for guild support could similarly be added for the fee of an upgrade for the guild.  Add to that their unnecessarily combative nature toward their customers, frankly I'm at a loss at how they have managed to be in business this long.  It's a testamony to the tenacity of the players who refuse to let their time and (in some cases) money invested not go to waste.  As I said, this is a game not living up to its promise.  For you litteralists out there, no, there wasn't a promise to do anything.  The game has promise, and that is what it is failing to live up to.

  RUMMATHORN

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1

11/22/10 9:37:15 PM#7

Astro Empires is a great game as mentioned in OP's post. It does however cause lots of headaches, and take up alot of your time. I am a player of 3 years, I love the game but some of the stuff that goes on has caused me to nearly quit on numerous occasions. It really can be addicting though.

Support Staff/Moderators
Support staff might as well be non-existant in my opinion as it is true I have never heard of a case that they turned back on. This has lead to some of the best players and friends I know to quit AE or be banned. The Mods as well have not been helpful and being former/current players doesn't help either. These people are volunteers or were last time I checked. Their conduct has been arrogant and misleading and I have once had an account deleted for having the same IP address which can happen but the number of people it happens to is atrocious. None of their claims seem to have any evidence at all, but they will just do as they please.

Game itself
The game is a fun setup with the most fun and activity happening in the first couple months. If this game was resetting it would be a much better setup instead of the neverending servers. The units have good balance and are well integrated into the game itself. The players are too restricted on what they can do however and certain people seem to be able to manipulate the mods. For example recently on an older server a player killed a large amount of fleet and created a lot of debris (when you kill fleet you get debris which you recycle and use to pay for ships/structures/etc ) now he did not have enough time to pick all of the debris up by himself so he shared it with his friends and then they split before the enemies arrived to remove them. Now the enemies being mad he got all the debris and they couldn't they reported him and the staff banned his account for credit transfer. He was not even allowed to share debris if someone reported it. This is a rediculous feature, you should be able to do whatever you want with your fleet and share however many derbs you want with whoever you want. The fact that free acounts are stuck at 9 bases is annoying to. I am a perminantly upgraded player and I want to have more oppostion than what these free players can offer. Seriouly 9 bases and a cap of 5 on special structures should be reised to 12-14 bases and lv 10 on the special structures for a more competitive game

overall I would give the game a 3.5/5 cause of the obvious drawbacks and the amount of resistance and arrogance from the mods/support staff/etc. It still is a fun game but without upgrading your account will suck, not very expensive to upgrade though.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

11/22/10 9:41:17 PM#8

Well mainstream MMORPGs' constant churn of new content is what you seem to be expecting, hence my bringing it up.  Few other games produce content in the same manner.

As for the Travian comment, it pretty obviously is the natural evolution of the genre of games that started back with Solar/Barren Realms Elite (BBS door games ~15 years ago) that continued with Utopia, Travian, Freesky, and many others.  If you want to pretend it's a completely different genre, you're free to, but they're all web-based strategy games with a real-time element.  "Clone" is probably too severe -- but they're in the same genre.

The formula is quite profitable, which is why companies that put them out stay in business (even if they fail to reach their potential.)

And really I believe potential is the word you're looking for (not promise.)  Unless they're overtly promising things and not delivering (in a manner dramatically different from typical company hype/promises) then they're not really failing to live up to promises.  It's wholly probable they're failing to live up to their potential though.

  deckra

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 4

11/22/10 11:22:23 PM#9

For every story there are two sides.

Astroempires is the nearest to perfect you can get in this genre. While some people say it needs a set guild alliance system like some games have, I believe the honor system is not only more realistic but allows for surprise attacks and various other things that aren't possible in other games. Likewise i disagree with their idea on scripts, because i believe that until they put some sort of in-game database (like a note feature that has astro location slots to fill in on your own) then there will ALWAYS be a need for a script. 

The script mentioned above, ORI, was targeted because it was specifically designed to let large guilds coordinate assault automatically (auto attack, auto pillage, auto scout) as well as share intel between guilds. Pretty much it was too powerful and gamebreaking. Thus they broke down hard on anyone that even MIGHT have used it. Greasemonkey apps like no-script sometimes appear on their radar. Because of this i turn off all but basic add-ons when playing AE (you can make this a general setting on greasemonkey).

I do agree that support staff is lacking, but that's because they get thousands of thousands of complaints but have a minimal support staff because they don't make as much cash as people think they do. For an independent game company, it's hard to get a full support going on like other games have. There is also an information overload because of the amount of accounts throughout the AE universe that makes it impossible to take every case. I have had a ban overturned because someone was stealing my internet when they couldn't pay for theirs. 

 

In short, there are many problems with the game, but in reality it's the best in it's genre. Nothing i have played can truly compare. Mechanics are near perfect.

  fieldcommand

Novice Member

Joined: 11/23/10
Posts: 1

"Give me a 12-inch cannon, so shall I shoot my own food..."

11/23/10 5:22:52 AM#10

I for one like this game, but I dont like the admin team. as I have had some quarrel with them, they are just to narrow-minded. and I do think they could have done some more to update it and add new things to AE.
and 3D art, impresses me just that much.... as it dont do anything with the game.

and I agree with much of what has been said up until now.

the only two reasons that I have for not have left the game yet, is the time and effort I have spent on this game, which I will soon have played for 3 years. and because of friends and people I've met here.

 

FC

in the darkest times. will it always be light,
for darkness can not exist without light and light without darkness.
sometimes it is just harder to see the light and the good things
if we are not looking for it. for I would rather remember all the good times. and not the bad times.
and I've had plenty of both,
but it is only the good that gets me to continue to play.

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/23/10 7:39:10 AM#11
Originally posted by Axehilt

1. Well mainstream MMORPGs' constant churn of new content is what you seem to be expecting, hence my bringing it up.  Few other games produce content in the same manner.

2. As for the Travian comment, it pretty obviously is the natural evolution of the genre of games that started back with Solar/Barren Realms Elite (BBS door games ~15 years ago) that continued with Utopia, Travian, Freesky, and many others.  If you want to pretend it's a completely different genre, you're free to, but they're all web-based strategy games with a real-time element.  "Clone" is probably too severe -- but they're in the same genre.

3. The formula is quite profitable, which is why companies that put them out stay in business (even if they fail to reach their potential.)

4. And really I believe potential is the word you're looking for (not promise.)  Unless they're overtly promising things and not delivering (in a manner dramatically different from typical company hype/promises) then they're not really failing to live up to promises.  It's wholly probable they're failing to live up to their potential though.

1. This game has been in production for many years, and has turned out a paltry amount of significant updates.  The last of such updates was the inclusion of TACHYON COMMUNICATIONS research (Which allows you to link research bases together) and CAPITALS (which provide an economic boost to your empire).  This happened before I started playing.  I have been playing for well over a year now, 429 days to be precise.  One of my friends was here to witness the update, but cannot remember when it occurred.  He has been playing for 902 days, so the update had to come out somewhere in between.  Regardless, that is much too long for a significant update, and they have proved that they can make updates in the past.  Consequently, your arguement is irrelevent as it doesn't take into consideration the facts.

2. Clearly travian is the limit of your experience.  Yes, it is a browser based app.  But even it owes it's existence to a much older genre of games.  Astro empires is more of a variation on Masters of Orion than it is travian.  You can't say they are the same because they add the element of real time because every RTS in existance has already achieved that.  The only claim to fame Travian has is that they made it semi-persistant.  As I recall, travian resets the servers periodically, although it has been a very long time since I bothered to play.  There is one other element that Travian shares with Astro Empires; they both unreasonably handicap free players.  Free players can never compete with people willing to spend money to upgrade themselves.  Travian is different in one other respect, it more resembles a traditional

3. The formula may be profitable, but you actually have to make use of the formula to work.  Zynga is an example of a company that makes cookie cutter games, and makes tremendous profit.  The reason for their success?  Content.  Period.  They are constantly releasing new content to satisfy their customer's needs.  Therefore, they remain profitable.  Al I ever hear from the AE Devs is how they are barely making enough money to keep going.  So they can't be very profitable...or they're lying.

4. Don't presume to give me a vocabulary lesson...you'll lose.  Although potential can be substituted in this case, promise has been used in this manner longer than any person alive can remember.  Stop splitting hairs.

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/23/10 7:49:33 AM#12
Originally posted by deckra

For every story there are two sides.

1. Astroempires is the nearest to perfect you can get in this genre. While some people say it needs a set guild alliance system like some games have, I believe the honor system is not only more realistic but allows for surprise attacks and various other things that aren't possible in other games. Likewise i disagree with their idea on scripts, because i believe that until they put some sort of in-game database (like a note feature that has astro location slots to fill in on your own) then there will ALWAYS be a need for a script. 

2. The script mentioned above, ORI, was targeted because it was specifically designed to let large guilds coordinate assault automatically (auto attack, auto pillage, auto scout) as well as share intel between guilds. Pretty much it was too powerful and gamebreaking. Thus they broke down hard on anyone that even MIGHT have used it. Greasemonkey apps like no-script sometimes appear on their radar. Because of this i turn off all but basic add-ons when playing AE (you can make this a general setting on greasemonkey).

I do agree that support staff is lacking, but that's because they get thousands of thousands of complaints but have a minimal support staff because they don't make as much cash as people think they do. For an independent game company, it's hard to get a full support going on like other games have. There is also an information overload because of the amount of accounts throughout the AE universe that makes it impossible to take every case.

3. I have had a ban overturned because someone was stealing my internet when they couldn't pay for theirs. 

 

In short, there are many problems with the game, but in reality it's the best in it's genre. Nothing i have played can truly compare. Mechanics are near perfect.

1. I'm afraid I must disagree.  I have played just about every space based game in the genre.  Many of the games I've played date to the late '70s or early '80s.  Astro Empires has barely scratched the surface of what can be done.  What is will concede is that (other than the free player vs upgraded player issue) Astro Empires is well balanced.  Keep in mind, I did say that people should play it.  It's not a bad game, but it's not a great game either.  It's about average.  People don't like to pay much for average.

2. I agree, ORI does unbalance the game, but not all of its features are bad.  Any feature that removes the player from the decision making process is bad for the game.  Otherwise, why don't we all play bots?  Then we can have the arguement "My bot's better than yours!"  Personally, I think that would destroy any game.

3. That is a good arguement for encrypting your network.

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/23/10 7:53:16 AM#13
Originally posted by fieldcommand

I for one like this game, but I dont like the admin team. as I have had some quarrel with them, they are just to narrow-minded. and I do think they could have done some more to update it and add new things to AE.
and 3D art, impresses me just that much.... as it dont do anything with the game.

and I agree with much of what has been said up until now.

the only two reasons that I have for not have left the game yet, is the time and effort I have spent on this game, which I will soon have played for 3 years. and because of friends and people I've met here.

 

FC

Amen brother!  Friends are the number one reason I keep coming back to AE.  I can easily walk away from the time investment.  i have done that a number of times as other games have become obsolete (like Travian), boring (also like Travian), or support for the game was stopped (like Earth and Beyond: never looked back once EA dropped it).

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

11/23/10 10:01:29 AM#14
Originally posted by DeathMotif

1. This game has been in production for many years, and has turned out a paltry amount of significant updates.  The last of such updates was the inclusion of TACHYON COMMUNICATIONS research (Which allows you to link research bases together) and CAPITALS (which provide an economic boost to your empire).  This happened before I started playing.  I have been playing for well over a year now, 429 days to be precise.  One of my friends was here to witness the update, but cannot remember when it occurred.  He has been playing for 902 days, so the update had to come out somewhere in between.  Regardless, that is much too long for a significant update, and they have proved that they can make updates in the past.  Consequently, your arguement is irrelevent as it doesn't take into consideration the facts.

2. Clearly travian is the limit of your experience.  Yes, it is a browser based app.  But even it owes it's existence to a much older genre of games.  Astro empires is more of a variation on Masters of Orion than it is travian.  You can't say they are the same because they add the element of real time because every RTS in existance has already achieved that.  The only claim to fame Travian has is that they made it semi-persistant.  As I recall, travian resets the servers periodically, although it has been a very long time since I bothered to play.  There is one other element that Travian shares with Astro Empires; they both unreasonably handicap free players.  Free players can never compete with people willing to spend money to upgrade themselves.  Travian is different in one other respect, it more resembles a traditional

3. The formula may be profitable, but you actually have to make use of the formula to work.  Zynga is an example of a company that makes cookie cutter games, and makes tremendous profit.  The reason for their success?  Content.  Period.  They are constantly releasing new content to satisfy their customer's needs.  Therefore, they remain profitable.  Al I ever hear from the AE Devs is how they are barely making enough money to keep going.  So they can't be very profitable...or they're lying.

4. Don't presume to give me a vocabulary lesson...you'll lose.  Although potential can be substituted in this case, promise has been used in this manner longer than any person alive can remember.  Stop splitting hairs.

1. And your point?  Nothing you said indicates a promise of continual development.

2. Ironically it's Astro Empires being the limit of your experience which causes you to say this. I've played probably 10-15 different games in this genre over the 15 years of its existence, so the shared game patterns between them all are very apparent to me.  It's rather telling that you believe Travian to be the first one that's semi-persistent (when they have all involved persistence, back 15 years ago to Solar Realms Elite!)

You're just proof that a little smoke and mirrors and a few abstracted game concepts (technologies) are all it takes to trick players into believing they're playing something new.

3. It's quite possible AE isn't making all that much money (it's rather old at this point).  Like I mentioned earlier, it's not a very well-run business.

4. What?  Potential and promise mean different things.  One makes you sound entitled (due to the more frequently used definition of it.)  The other is simply an (accurate in this case) assessment of business savvy.  

  deckra

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 4

11/23/10 11:40:28 AM#15
Originally posted by DeathMotif
Originally posted by deckra

For every story there are two sides.

1. Astroempires is the nearest to perfect you can get in this genre. While some people say it needs a set guild alliance system like some games have, I believe the honor system is not only more realistic but allows for surprise attacks and various other things that aren't possible in other games. Likewise i disagree with their idea on scripts, because i believe that until they put some sort of in-game database (like a note feature that has astro location slots to fill in on your own) then there will ALWAYS be a need for a script. 

2. The script mentioned above, ORI, was targeted because it was specifically designed to let large guilds coordinate assault automatically (auto attack, auto pillage, auto scout) as well as share intel between guilds. Pretty much it was too powerful and gamebreaking. Thus they broke down hard on anyone that even MIGHT have used it. Greasemonkey apps like no-script sometimes appear on their radar. Because of this i turn off all but basic add-ons when playing AE (you can make this a general setting on greasemonkey).

I do agree that support staff is lacking, but that's because they get thousands of thousands of complaints but have a minimal support staff because they don't make as much cash as people think they do. For an independent game company, it's hard to get a full support going on like other games have. There is also an information overload because of the amount of accounts throughout the AE universe that makes it impossible to take every case.

3. I have had a ban overturned because someone was stealing my internet when they couldn't pay for theirs. 

 

In short, there are many problems with the game, but in reality it's the best in it's genre. Nothing i have played can truly compare. Mechanics are near perfect.

1. I'm afraid I must disagree.  I have played just about every space based game in the genre.  Many of the games I've played date to the late '70s or early '80s.  Astro Empires has barely scratched the surface of what can be done.  What is will concede is that (other than the free player vs upgraded player issue) Astro Empires is well balanced.  Keep in mind, I did say that people should play it.  It's not a bad game, but it's not a great game either.  It's about average.  People don't like to pay much for average.

2. I agree, ORI does unbalance the game, but not all of its features are bad.  Any feature that removes the player from the decision making process is bad for the game.  Otherwise, why don't we all play bots?  Then we can have the arguement "My bot's better than yours!"  Personally, I think that would destroy any game.

3. That is a good arguement for encrypting your network.

 

1. The reason I say it's perfect, is that any new addition (and there are many well thought out ones on the feature request boards), all have the potential for gamebreaking. Only exception is the idea of the Fortress and Distress Beacon, which would be unused in current gameplay scenarios. Therefore they have perfected the game system that the game was built around. 

2. Not all of it was bad, which is why the same extreme lockdown hasn't occured with other scripts. I personally think we should all be NPCs and we just watch our accounts grow.

3. It is now, and not just WEP or WEP2. 

  DuncanMc

Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/10
Posts: 2

11/24/10 5:51:08 AM#16

The commend trend is most new players of the game are satisfied with the lack of actual content of the game and most haven't had to go up against the AE admin team on crappy decisions.  While players who have been playing for years have.

About ORI it is for usually the mainstream guilds.  I run a smaller guild and have been accused of using ORI.  While I provided evedence my computer would not support things like that (I have problems with add ons to firefox) they continued with their "God Complex" and said "We're always right".  As I am a paying customer I threatened to sue them based on fraud (Offering a service, but not providing it) and their response was "We don't have to follow the United States law we are based in Europe" they feel they are untouchable. 

Customer Service is the main issue for this game.  Although they don't see i teven though within their own blogs it is a common theme to see.

Also to the person who said that Astro empires does not make that much money.  Let's do the math real quick.

The average year upgrade right now costs

$26.66 US dollars a year

Let's say that half of the players in one server upgrade (Which I think the number is a lot higher)

For Alpha it would be they are making

$66,943.26 a year

now if you go through each server and add these numbers they are making a considerable a lot of money.

I'm not including the google ad money they get as well from free players who click on the ads.  Just confirmed money they are getting.

Also you said "They never promised further development" you're wrong.  click the "Upgrade" page and you'll see this.

"Why do I need to upgrade my account?

This is needed to allow us to pay for servers, personnel and to support further development.
This also ensures sustainability and the long term success of Astro Empires which benefits all players."

  DeathMotif

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 10

 
OP  11/24/10 9:53:11 AM#17
Originally posted by DuncanMc

The commend trend is most new players of the game are satisfied with the lack of actual content of the game and most haven't had to go up against the AE admin team on crappy decisions.  While players who have been playing for years have.

About ORI it is for usually the mainstream guilds.  I run a smaller guild and have been accused of using ORI.  While I provided evedence my computer would not support things like that (I have problems with add ons to firefox) they continued with their "God Complex" and said "We're always right".  As I am a paying customer I threatened to sue them based on fraud (Offering a service, but not providing it) and their response was "We don't have to follow the United States law we are based in Europe" they feel they are untouchable. 

Customer Service is the main issue for this game.  Although they don't see i teven though within their own blogs it is a common theme to see.

Also to the person who said that Astro empires does not make that much money.  Let's do the math real quick.

The average year upgrade right now costs

$26.66 US dollars a year

Let's say that half of the players in one server upgrade (Which I think the number is a lot higher)

For Alpha it would be they are making

$66,943.26 a year

now if you go through each server and add these numbers they are making a considerable a lot of money.

I'm not including the google ad money they get as well from free players who click on the ads.  Just confirmed money they are getting.

Also you said "They never promised further development" you're wrong.  click the "Upgrade" page and you'll see this.

"Why do I need to upgrade my account?

This is needed to allow us to pay for servers, personnel and to support further development.
This also ensures sustainability and the long term success of Astro Empires which benefits all players."

Well said, although I disagree with your numbers.  I suspect that the number of upgraded accounts is somewhere between 10 and 20 percent, not 50 percent.  You are right when you mention that these numbers add up.  However, you forgot to take into consideration that each of them have to take a salary from this money.  Additionally, they have to pay for the upkeep and inclusion of servers, new and old.  (I am also a game developer and have researched these issues.)  Servers are not cheap.  You have to consider your average useage for the servers.  AE happens to actually provide that information.  Each server has the current number of registered users (mode average is around 3000) and the number of players currently online (mean average around 500-600).  By all accounts, this is rather low for a free online game.  This is especially true when you consider that many players have more than one account across the servers.  If you were to take into account only unique users, then the numbers start to drop off.  Another trend I have noticed (in the time I've been playing) is that on average, there are fewer users over time, not more.  Some of this can be attributed to account drift (players moving from one server to another), but I suspect that most of it is due to player apathy.  Most of the people playing have long term accounts.  Of those, most of them have been upgraded at least once at some period of time.  People don't like to walk away from an investment, and most of these people have invested a great deal of time, and some money.  Still though, I believe the development team when they say they are barely making enough money to keep things going under their current model.  That's why they need to pay attention to the players (their customers) and provide services that we would be willing to pay to continue to support the game.  That's just sound business, not entitlement, as some would have you believe.

  exorace

Novice Member

Joined: 10/30/09
Posts: 4

11/26/10 3:31:43 PM#18

I played this game, but it was too slow for me in the beginning. I spent a week and I couldn't do anything interesting but research and build buildings.

  SilverKnight1966

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/16/13
Posts: 9

6/16/13 12:17:10 AM#19

I played literally every server in Astro Empires.  When I first started, there were three servers, Frigates had only 2 hanger spaces, and the concept of locking down a cluster of galaxies was not invented yet.  Played for 7 years, started in Beta.  Galaxy start in B47, which at the time was pretty much dominated by a guild that mass relocated to be there, requiring new recruits from elsewhere to relocate there.  This was never done before on this scale. 

 

That guild's success in holding hegemony in their territory even after the rest of the server mass invaded them became the model of study by every dominant guild in every server from Delta onwards.

 

Dominant guilds in younger servers don't take in new players very frequently because some players who seek a win at all costs do a cheat that is worse than scripting : multis. 

 

Many good guilds crash and burn as the multi acts like a know-nothing newb and as the better players try to help the new guy, that "new guy" is copy pasting the guild boards, the guild internals, every PM and such and sending all of it to a rival guild, making that rival have an unfair advantage.  Players from the victims of that get really gun shy of taking in new players.

 

Worse : a good player comes to a guild, gets trusted with viceGM powers.  That guy or the guy he passes the account to because he is done with that server then trashes the guild erasing the guild internals, kicking out all the members that don't have vice powers also, and then leaves the guild in a smoking ruin.  First made famous by the player Rapscallion.

 

Generally that severe dysfunction is what makes it newb hostile.

 

I created a Facebook Page and a Tumblr blog to give to new players to assist them in learning how to play.  Astro Empires is exclusively a PvP game.  It does not have a PvE option really.  When a player just walks away from the game his account becomes bot controlled (goes UC) and late in the game the Drekons become a cash cow for one guild per cluster, usually the dominant guild already.

 

What new players need is someone who knows what they are doing willing to share their knowledge of the mechanics, as there is a best build order, there is a best method, and using best practices is counterintuitive as most players get their base occupied even once they way over do it on turrets and fail to do the practices that those who dominate  do habitually.

 

There are a few guilds who fit this description, but very few new guys get in.

 

As for changes in the game interface itself, there are a lot of changes that were made, but they are subtle but powerful, for those who know how to use them.

for example

The launch to here link under each astro is a major change.  Before that, you have to remember and enter coordinates to launch the fleets and you have to make certain you launch the correct fleet.  Now it is simple 2 click process to get the exact fleet you want there.

 

Astro Empires is a game with few rules and pieces.  But so is Chess.