Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hallo Facebook people!

The Neptune's Pride creators have linked to this blog via their Facebook page. If you've come here from there, make sure to become a fan (of the game, not me :) )

Neptune's Diary Day 7

It's just before production cycle 7 starts. A full galactic week ingame and things are really beginning to move. The three AI controlled empires are in the process of falling - the light blues down to 5 stars, the oranges surrounded by vee's reds, and the purples massing ships on my border.

Down in my southwest is where the game is at it's most interesting. And by interesting I mean potentially deadly.

NPDiary 7

As you can see, there's a yellow peninsula being surrounded by vee's Reds and Scooped's green forces, in his fight with the AI controled LBD. To the south are the worlds of the AI orange empire, so far left alone by vee, who's been creating staging points on my borders.

To the north, Xen's Dark Reds have started taking worlds from Jon's Dark Blues. I've already taken some from him, but since the purples switched to AI control they have become more adventuresome. I'm hoping they'll provide a softer target for me, although they do have large fleets defending the border worlds.

In the meantime I am slowly capturing the last few free stars to the very north. Vee is still overall leader, but I control only three fewer stars. Since he's not moving to take orange stars, I can only assume he's decided top get ready early for an attempted conquest of my space. We'll see about that...

Writing to reach you.

I've been a brave lad and started writing about games again. Having seen someone post an ad for contributors for this site on RPS I decided to bite the bullet and submit a State of... column in the spirit of those I used to write for StateMagazine (BACK IN THE DAY).

I enjoy writing. I'd like to start doing it again on a regular basis, but I find I need a kickstart, something to do it for.

If it's accepted, I shall post a link here. If not, I'll post the column here at some point. We'll see how it goes. I was never terribly confident in my ability in the first place, and writing something "serious" for the first time in about 5 years was quite daunting.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Neptune's Pride Diary Day 5-6

Neptune's Pride

Things are beginning to move. After a day or two with no contact with my allies and with no movement on any scale, Day 6 sees things start to happen. Jon, the leader of the DBD had sent a fleet to the Sabik system but unfortunately for him my fleet was closer. By the time he arrived my forces had achieved defensive positions, boosting their combat prowess, and destroyed his ships easily. After some thought I decided to send a probing fleet towards his systems to see if I could scan out nearby fleets. This time Jon had a defensive fleet but his numbers were insufficient and the Segin system became mine, as did Dnoces.

The Dark Blue Danger must be destroyed. I am now moving to take his systems, with speed.

With the Light Blue Decadence and the Orange Entity now being controlled by AI usurpers, they are being slowly eaten up by the forces of Scooped and vee, which presents me with two extra large neighbours. Vee has the most largest empire in the 'verse already, with almost half the number of systems needed to claim total domination but seems to be only slowly moving westwards.

The Dark Red empire of Xen Star Monkey is also large, but seperated from me by the DBD and the Purple Peoples. They are also enroaching on vee's borders to the East. I can only hope they become embroiled in a border war, taking their attentions from me.

That leaves only the Purple Peoples, with whom I have had no contact. Their expansion has been slow and they are obviously preparing to defend their systems to the last... I wonder if they'll make a move towards my outlying systems while I prosecute this war against the DBD?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Neptune's Pride Diary: Day 4

Things look to be hotting up, ever so slowly.

Two of the players in our game (the Light Blue Decadence and Orange Entity, as I named them) have had their empires transferred to AI control. I imagine they'll be crushed in record time, sandwiched as they are between myself (the Yellow Eternal Empire of Eternalness), Scooped (the Green Army) and vee (Red Reality). However, I still fear for my own empire as both Scooped and Jon (Dark Blue Danger) have ships within striking range of my territory.

Was it wise to plunge so much time and income into expanding the economy at the expense of building a fleet? It'll certainly give me something to hold onto should my core systems fall, assuming I can increase my ships' range to allow me to run away quickly enough :)

Fight fight fight fight fight

"It started over nothing".

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Neptune's Pride Day 3

NPDay3 overview

The universe as it stands. I'm the cowardly yellow empire, surrounded on all sides by enemies (and friends? MAYBE).

Turns out diplomacy in this game is all about the trust. If someone scratches my back, for instance, I'm under no obligation to scratch theirs. And that's fine by me - it sets the ground rules straightaway. I'm reasonably sure I'm going to get pounded on all sides at some point, but am unsure whether the best defence is offence or, well, defence.

Defenders get a bonus in combat in this game, so there's an element where it's all about the numbers. Stars create 2 ships per day based on their industry level, so the higher the level, the bigger the fleet that can be sent out every day  - or, indeed, kept orbiting - but upgrading costs money, and to get money you need stars. Sitting still and turtling your core worlds may mean you have slightly larger defence fleets but, at the end of the day, you have no cash.

As the second largest empire I have lots of cash coming in. Ooh look at me, I can has bling? However, that cash can't be used on upgrading ships or weapons, only on upgrading stars. So, spend cash to breed more cash by upgrading economic levels on new stars? Increase industry for more ships? Or build expensive scientific stations to boost research rate?

I think I was right in my first assessment of this game. It's not going to be short.

Neptune's Pride: Day 1-2

I decree this game likeable.

It is, however, incredibly complex, while at the same time being insanely simple. I have no idea if any of the other players have had a combat event yet - I'm not sure if it'll flag it up if I'm not involved, y'see - but so far my interaction with the game has been limited to moving fleets towards planets and using the ingame email as a diplomatic device. I have the third largest fleet in our game, but I also have the most direct neighbours, having started off smack bang in the middle of the map. It's a tad unfair, but one has to do one's best before one is completely obliterated.

At the time of writing I have the second largest empire in terms of number of stars conquered, but find myself with no buffer between the mighty Eternal Empire of Eternalness and five other sentient races. I have made contact with some of these races, have been ignored by others, and can only wait and see what progresses.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Neptune's Pride: Day Zero

As spotted on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Neptune's Pride is a browser based 4X strategy game played in real time but with no fees. Intriguing, says I.

I've begun playing an eight-man (woman/entity) game with at least some of the other players being fellow readers of RPS. This is going to take some time, and I'm not entirely confident of doing at all well, but I shall report here every other day, with information and mis-information, just in case any of my fellow players are reading...

Saturday, January 09, 2010