Before I begin, I will be listing my problems first, and then the praises, because this way, the actual issues get more attention, and I consider this more helpful than the other way around. But be sure you read the entire post, before replying.
- Save menu is just bad right now: There is no confirmation that the game has actually been saved. I understand that the former save menu or something simliar from the previous game will be implemented at some point, but a feedback would be really nice.
- The alt-click menu for automatically trading resources does not work for research: this is really confusing, because it is a super nice function, but does not seem to work on the research screen at all (as of today).
- The research screen is a bit chaotic for me and my friends. Sins 1 had a screen that gave more overview and a better idea about technology grouping. Also, because the research screen is so big, some zoom features would be nice. I, however, approve that each technology has only 1 level.
- Also, there are items in the research tree that have that little golden arrow in the top left corner. It is not obvious what that is supposed to mean.
- The lack of "Jump as formation" options for ships (and formation options altogether). I am pretty sure that it will be implemented later, so just noting it.
- For capital ships, the limited use items are not very well denoted. It is not fully obvious which items are permanent and which are of limited uses. In a rush of a start for new players, this might be misleading.
- Random map generator for larger maps: even during this stage, even if orbits cannot be implemented, fixed phase lane random map generation would be awesome for larger maps as well.
- The Garrison system is not very well explained in the game.
- I miss the diplomacy pact mechanics from the first game, but I am pretty sure that is just a matter of time.
- There is no clear indication for items that require a certain planet level as to what planet level is actually required.
- If a building requires a logistic/military slot upgrade, when you try to build it, it does not automatically trigger the slot upgrade, despite the research working that way (i.e. if you need to research something to build something, the research will automatically be started). This mechanic is sweet, so I am just noting it.
- And finally: even in this stage, there should be an ability to turn pirates off.
We did not try the dynamic phase lane systems so far, because we want to master the game first in a "normal" setting. But it's super exciting.
And now for the positives. Altogether, the game, even in this stage, is - how should I say - well thought out. It is clear that the devs took what worked in Sins 1 and added functionality to make the game more manageable (the planet and capital ship overview screens are just AWESOME)! The entire interface, bar the issues I have mentioned above, is well thought out.
The exotics system is lovely. The refinery system in Sins1 was not one of my favorites, but in this iteration, it makes the endgame much more interesting, because even when I have larger pools of resources, there is still an incentive to do something with it.
I personally like that there is no more longest trade route system. The new token system for influencing trade is just better in every way. The new tradeport system is also awesome.
I also love the new graphics. It feels a bit less "realistic", if you can use this word, but it goes well with the general feeling of the game. The new colour schemes are a bonus as well.
I love the combat system. I love that damage is immediately displayed. I love that I understand the mechanics better, even with the simulation of individual batteries and missiles. The capital ship upgrades are also a nice touch - and lends itself to much more customisation than in the first game.
I also like the Starbase mechanic in that it is either built, or deployed by a captial ship. With less babysitting, it gives more options to a player.
Planet customisation is another awesome thing, that gave so much to my game experience. The ability to diversify my empire based on planet locations is just a next level thing.
Altogether, my entire experience in this state of the game is simply that the devs took an awesome game, looked at what could be made even more awesome and more handy for the players and went for it. Also, I can feel that the community has influenced the game as well, which is super awesome.
I felt no problems with game balance so far. If anything, my capital ships feel more vulnerable in the early game, which I very much approve of.
Matchmaking is super easy with the invite codes. No issues there.
My money on this one was very well spent. Actually bought it as a present for one of my buddies, and we, together, logged 30 hours into the game on a short timeframe afterwards. I can't wait to see all the new factions and ideas.
Thank you for reading the post. This is just a summary of my and my buddies' opinions - and not all of them may be right or feasible even. But take it as a first glance. After logging several hundreds of hours into Sins1, I simply CANNOT wait to get new updates in this game.
If you take away anything from my post, then let it be this: we played 3 full multiplayer games in the current state of the game, and enjoyed it thoroughly as if it was a full game.