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Default Non-RPG General News - They Are Billions - Released

June 19th, 2019, 20:28
The strategy game They Are Billions is out now:

They Are Billions

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They Are Billions is a Steampunk strategy game set on a post-apocalyptic planet. Build and defend colonies to survive against the billions of the infected that seek to annihilate the few remaining living humans. Can humanity survive after the zombie apocalypse?
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June 19th, 2019, 22:16
I've had this one in Early Access for like a year or so.. it's a pretty nifty defense RTS with charming mechanics. In my pinion it'°s worth its price even for people who aren't pure RTS players, like myself.
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June 19th, 2019, 22:45
I strongly advise anyone thinking of getting this to try it first. I had been waiting a long time for it to come out of EA so I could play the campaign, and I was pretty disappointed.

There's currently no manual save-load system, and if you meet any condition that causes you to fail a mission, including exceeding a time limit, you have to start the mission over from the beginning. It's basically like being forced to play ironman mode in each mission.
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June 19th, 2019, 23:30
I recently asked on the steam forums about the game and if it was worth getting to play the campaign.. around 30 people answered within 30 minutes "no!" and "don't buy!" and many expressed how very disappointed they were with the campaign. In fact there wasn't even a fanboy there to the rescue (which is common on the steam forums), to tell them how wrong they were and that its "awesome" etc.. that says something..
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June 19th, 2019, 23:46
I hope they now do Lords of Xulima II.
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June 19th, 2019, 23:49
I've also been looking forward to this releasing. Shame it looks like they didn't nail the campaign mode.

In terms of sales and hype, this game reminds me of how Slay the Spire went, in that most of the people who were going to play it did so in Early Access. The actual official release date turned out to be a massive damp squib. The main difference here seems to be that StS managed to maintain it's dedicated fanboys even with the lacklustre new additions of full release whereas poor ol' TAB seems to hve alienated even them.
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June 20th, 2019, 00:00
Too bad because I really enjoyed Xulima. Hope this doesn't sink them. I don't like RTS games but this one looked like it was kinda unique.
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June 20th, 2019, 01:40
Originally Posted by Hastar View Post
Too bad because I really enjoyed Xulima. Hope this doesn't sink them. I don't like RTS games but this one looked like it was kinda unique.
Sink them? This game has already sold 10X what Xulima sold and thatís before itís even released. Itís surely making them filthy rich. But makes you wonder if they would ever go back to RPGs.
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June 20th, 2019, 02:17
I was hoping that their next game would be great considering how awesome Xulima is, but I guess you cannot hit a home run every swing. The horrid save feature alone would likely keep me away from this one.
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June 20th, 2019, 07:40
The survival mode alone is worth the buy.
~1 year ago I head so much fun with it.
Will try the campaign in the coming days.

For me this is a deep strategy game - but not RTS. It's all about understanding game mechanics and finding a strategy to beat the game. Not at all about reacting timely.
You can pause as long and often as you want, you can build everything while the game is paused - but there will be no unit movement.
Patience is a key factor - you profit a lot when using pause extensively. People who want to play this more RST style may find this game too unforgiving.

If they didn't change the basic mechanics since I last played, I can't imagine how the campaign could be bad.
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June 20th, 2019, 08:03
Originally Posted by Kylex View Post
If they didn't change the basic mechanics since I last played, I can't imagine how the campaign could be bad.
After browsing the Steam forum, I get the impression that a lot of Early Access players felt the same way before playing the campaign.
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June 20th, 2019, 09:46
I only played survival mode myself, didn't even know there was a campaign till now. I don't know what they could have done so wrong with it, but yeah my opinion on the first post was based on the survival mode alone, which I found quite addicting.

It's a shame if all that is ruined because of a faulty campaign.
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June 20th, 2019, 13:54
Originally Posted by Kylex View Post
If they didn't change the basic mechanics since I last played, I can't imagine how the campaign could be bad.
It is constraining. It forces players to do with the map they are given. Hacking procedural generation through re rolling a map is somehow a thing of the past.
It is objective driven, meaning the plan must be designed around the completion of those objectives.

Players hit a wall: they thought they knew how to play the game and when they are required to produce specific results, they choke and get frustrated. They thought of themselves as leet. The reflection they used to get is gone.

That is the doom of procedural generation: it is meant to renew planning by changing starting conditions when players desire starting conditions that support their pre thought course of actions.

Players who took procedural generation for what it meant to do, who are used to playing any map and to plan accordingly are less likely to spit on the campaign than those who are used to milking the procedural generation until they get a map to suit their one way of playing. Those ones are going to struggle.
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June 20th, 2019, 14:26
Oddly enough, the Chienbot nailed it.
Most people are just complaining because its too hard. They arent just using those words. Like when Factorio and Civ4 was new and hordes of people that don't really like strategy jumped into it then promptly flipped out because it required some adaptation depending on your map.
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June 20th, 2019, 14:41
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
In terms of sales and hype, this game reminds me of how Slay the Spire went, in that most of the people who were going to play it did so in Early Access. The actual official release date turned out to be a massive damp squib. The main difference here seems to be that StS managed to maintain it's dedicated fanboys even with the lacklustre new additions of full release whereas poor ol' TAB seems to hve alienated even them.
Well Slay the Spire was mostly feature complete when it was in Early Access. Nobody was really expecting the actual release to change that much and the release announcement was more of a formality than anything else.

Billions is the opposite. The Early Access bit was only a small part of the full game and nobody really knew exactly what they were getting with the full game until it came out.

Anyway I got Billions EA so I guess I'll try playing the campaign version. The most disappointing sounding part is that it sounds like it's going to be discrete missions rather than a world to explore and build up.
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June 20th, 2019, 15:16
Let us know what you think, even if it's weeks down the line, I'm in no hurry over this. I suspect there's lots of factors involved here.
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June 20th, 2019, 16:09
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
It is constraining. It forces players to do with the map they are given. Hacking procedural generation through re rolling a map is somehow a thing of the past.
It is objective driven, meaning the plan must be designed around the completion of those objectives.

Players hit a wall: they thought they knew how to play the game and when they are required to produce specific results, they choke and get frustrated. They thought of themselves as leet. The reflection they used to get is gone.

That is the doom of procedural generation: it is meant to renew planning by changing starting conditions when players desire starting conditions that support their pre thought course of actions.

Players who took procedural generation for what it meant to do, who are used to playing any map and to plan accordingly are less likely to spit on the campaign than those who are used to milking the procedural generation until they get a map to suit their one way of playing. Those ones are going to struggle.
That sounds actually pretty cool in my book. If the main criticism is about that, I am tempted to try it. Only heared very positive stuff about the game before the campaign launched.
They also probably already made much more money with it than they did with Xulima.
Which…I guess is nice for them…but sad for us, waiting for Xulima 2 (whough Xulima wasn't a perfect game).
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June 20th, 2019, 18:49
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
Oddly enough, the Chienbot nailed it.
Most people are just complaining because its too hard. They arent just using those words. Like when Factorio and Civ4 was new and hordes of people that don't really like strategy jumped into it then promptly flipped out because it required some adaptation depending on your map.
So you've played the game?
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June 21st, 2019, 03:04
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So you've played the game?
I may have put in a 'few XXX' hours into survival mode over the past year… Much less than Factorio overall Lets be clear, I love survival mode and it can be a freaking difficult game. The Xulima team that created desert rats that wiped your complete party in the first 3 minutes didn't disappoint when it came to difficulty.

Tried the campaign today. I'm split between two opinions.
First off, I was expecting an easy ride like most campaign games start.
Resource management starts off easy. Wacking a few Zombies is easy. Then you get a difficulty spike realllly early on. A few missions in I realized that the campaign colony goals were all the same, and badly designed.
!!Timed missions based on population increase.!! I was hoping for more!!! Or at least alternative ways to achieve victory. They do start off easy (assuming you've got some knowledge of how to play) but it literally seems like there is only ONE strategy to finish these. Set up minimal effective defense, horde resource, no offense whatsoever, then spam housing to hit goal before you get overwhelmed. If you don't min/max you likely won't be completing these on higher difficulty or more.
An example of bad design - I wiped an entire map of zombies… but still had to wait out the game time and have the correct population at the time. 10 minutes of just waiting because of the arbitrary timer……

The hero missions are terrible cross between point and click pixelhunt adventures and the the hero missions from Starcraft. You have the option of collecting background items. But there isn't a visual cue (Edit: apparently there is a visible cue on lower difficulties, I just didn't play on that level) so you literally have to scan your mouse back and forth hoping it lights up as a collectible. These are 'optional' but they give XP to spend in upgrade trees. For a tactical completionist like me that makes them mandatory, not optional. If they provided me with a character skin or some equally useless pixel crack, I wouldn't give a rats furry behind about skipping it. But… XP for talent trees that continue from campaign to campaign can't be skipped for me. Terrible design.

The horde missions are a pretty heavy source of contention apparently. Personally I love them, but I'm used to survival mode and I have a good idea what skills are effective already, so I havne't encountered much issue. For new people I can see this being a real pain in the ass. If you've gone jack of all trades, or specialized exceptionally poorly, you are boned in some missions. There is no skill respec (that I could find anyway) so you pretty much have to restart if you've screwed up talents too bad. If you've played some missions at 500% difficulty (more difficulty success = more XP = more talents = stronger) then these missions manageable, which they should be, they were ripped right from survival mode. Love it.

No story, minimal 'lore' if you can call it that. The trailer had more story than I've found in game so far.

So…. if I had to rate the campaign mode I'd give it 4/10
If I had to rate survival mode over the last year, I'd give it 8.5/10.
Its worth buying for survival mode only.

Edit : For those of you who like drama, apparently they are deleting negative comments from their forum and telling people to its a hard game so get over it. Which, as you can imagine, sets off all the pretty snowflakes because they havne't felt 'heard' and demand rights to post anything on forums. Personally I don't care what comments of mine they delete, they already have my money and I'm not getting a refund so I don't care if they acknowledge any of my opinions. Apparently I'm in a minority (Do I get special minority funding if this happens often enough?)
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June 21st, 2019, 06:34
Originally Posted by Hastar View Post
Too bad because I really enjoyed Xulima. Hope this doesn't sink them. I don't like RTS games but this one looked like it was kinda unique.
Afaik, they needed to make TAB for a quick buck. In the end that worked better than expected and they invested more time into it. The original plan was to make Xulima II and I hope they will.
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