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June 18th, 2013, 14:44
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It's on sale at GamersGate until tomorrow at 75% off ($7.49).


I had never even heard of this series until reading this thread. Has anyone played the first two games? Were they any good?

Also, is the single-player campaign hand-made or procedurally generated?
Like civilization there's no campaign, one game can be very long in fact, but there are hand crafted maps designed for a series of dominions/races.

I"m playing my second game, second map. I doubt a mid size map like the suggested map to begin with (map with a yellow asterisk) could be done bellow 50 hours, myself I made more 100 hours but analyzing a lot.

The first play in the game is a little weird, you need check the tutorial in the manual first. Also starting a new race is troubles because for many races, many units of the race look rather the same. But after some hours I got used to identify them quickly, and after 10/20 hours it's even natural.

The genre isn't homm or king's bounty, it's Civilization with a focus on war and Fantasy. In a way the closer I know would be the WW2 mods of Civ IV but it's also very different.

It's definitely not as oriented to management of economy and happiness as the 4X or even 4X sub genre of Civ like. it's more Civ Fantasy with a shift to a wargame strategy oriented. It's also different than any type of wargame I tried in past, definitely more like Civilization evolving to Fantasy and a bit to wargame.

Still the parallel to 4X including Civ can be done, for example:
  • Research tree in Dom 3 is a simplified tree with 7 separate branches of 9 levels. But each magic levels offers potentially many spells.
  • Buildings in Dom3 is just 3 possible buildings without any upgrade. But it's also "building" the items, buildings the units and commanders, search magic sites.
  • Spaceships blueprints in Dom3 are more with a sort of meta Transformers approach, with transformers that can change and merge pieces of each for constant blueprint changes. The Dom3 blueprints are the groups of commander+units armies, plus position each group and commander on the battlefield, plus gives 0 to 2 orders to each group, plus gives 0 to 6 orders to each commander, plus gives items to each commander, plus gives gems to each commander to allow them cast some special spells during battle. It's very free and would perhaps gain a bit less freedom for a more fixed blueprint approach, but it's the blueprints replacement in Dom3.
  • For diplomacy, apart in Multiplayer, there's none in Dom3.
  • There's definitely the exploration element, and quite complicated by a scouting system a bit nasty with its deliberate imprecision. Search of magic sites is another element replacing planets scanning but more complicated.
  • Happiness in Dominion 3 is Unrest and its management is more simple than in Civilization, particularly when activating auto taxes. You still need care with patrols managements.

The fights are automatic, like in civilization, Endless Space and more. But unlike all their playing is very detailed and comprehensive. So check some battles to understand what happened or see the consequences of your choices is rather interesting to do for some selected battles.

There's a general vision of the game to spice the single player gameplay with some random, it's mainly events, but also battles could generate rather diverse wounds and penalties, curses and diseases can be long term nasty states and lead a unit to death, and more. But for events, a game option allows low down them, and when you setup you Dominion at beginning of the game, an element is to control Order which lower even more the random events.

My second game with it, and again first steps with a race is a bit rude, because o the time to get used to icons but also to discover the special stuff. For example that new races has mammoth units, but they are very special to manage and it took me multiple battles before to find so good setup. And worse at my second battle, a small pack of mammoth panicked and stapled and killed all commanders in battle but one (win the battle anyway).

Great game, civilization Fantasy and more war oriented, in middle of great classics and top indie games, close to the great classics.

I paid it 50% and wonder why I didn't paid the full price, for 75% it's not a bargain but a gift you do to yourself.
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